Toast To a Real One!

Last Friday I found myself on the verge of a breakdown. The tears would not stop and for a moment I felt like giving up on everything I’d been working towards. I forced myself to calm down long enough to realize how blessed and fortunate I am. After all, what I viewed as a crisis was simply a lastminute email from my new employer with tax forms and other paperwork they needed within the hour. First of all, I don’t like to do things at the last minute, especially when using technology that I already struggle with. “E-sign”, really? Suddenly I became overwhelmed with anxiety. Panic set in after numerous failed attempts at trying to reach out for help. Moments before the temptation of hurling the damn computer out of the window, it struck me that the unexpected was actually yet another blessing. I hadn’t anticipated being offered the position so soon after training and becoming certified. I’m not sure if I was more upset from being forced to use the computer or not being able to find help. Either way like usual, I took my time, figured it out and got it done. Once I calmed my nerves, shortly after I found myself on the phone having a conversation with someone, I first crossed paths with nearly twenty-five years ago. It’s amazing how God is always working! Although it may be in his own time, He is still right on time. In that moment He knew exactly what I needed in hearing from not only one of my biggest supporters, but also one who’s been the most loyal.

My dearest friend, known as Damo (long “a”) and I didn’t meet on the best of terms initially. In fact, we were introduced by a mutual friend which led to an argument between Damo and I that had me certain we were about to go head-to-head in battle. A challenge that at the time, I believed I was ready for. However, I soon learned that Damo is not a man that would even raise a hand to a woman but will definitely speak his mind with authority. Unaware that he and I actually shared several mutual friends, for months after our first encounter we found ourselves constantly giving each other the side eye staying on guard when in one another’s presence. Something we both continue to laugh about now. One day a friend finally suggested we talk in an attempt to solve the silly misunderstanding as the tension was making the others we cared about extremely uncomfortable. Before long Damo and I were hanging out after work most days with our drink of choice back then, Paul Mason. We’d listen to music, talk about a variety of topics for hours sitting on the concrete steps of the apartment complex. I learned how extremely intelligent Damo is, especially after getting to know his dad who is Pops to all of us. Damo loves to read and has always been passionate about our history and culture. Most of what he shared with me went over my head at the time, yet I still listened with curiosity because somehow deep inside I knew that the knowledge he was sharing would benefit me later, as it did. I’ve learned a great deal from Damo as well as Pops through our friendship over the years, including a fabulous jerk chicken recipe. We spent so much time simply talking that some of the folks in our neighborhood often assumed we were a couple which had never crossed our minds. There was no way in hell! He and I were two very dominant personalities with a degree of stubbornness. In fact, I am the female version of him and vice versa.

We did, however, grow so close that there came a point in time, the first time I really needed him and was almost afraid to ask because although we were close, I wasn’t always sure what to expect from Damo and was a bit intimidated. Besides my brother I didn’t trust anyone with my children except Damo. Not only because he has kids of his own, but what I do know is that he is always solid and won’t sugar coat anything and is a man of his word. We shared the same moral values, especially when it comes to family. I had begun working so many hours due to a promotion and needed a sitter for my son who was also at the potty-training stage. I was a bit frantic, and Damo was the only “man” I knew to turn to. To my surprise and relief, without hesitation he gladly took on the task. A few years ago, when I was going through a rough time and came to visit me, he actually thanked me, expressing how much it meant to him that I trusted him with my son. I was in awe because it meant even more to me for him to take on the responsibility when I had no one else to depend on.

Over the years Damo has become like a brother to me, my children call him uncle. Although we don’t talk much or get to see each other often, now residing in different cities, we’ve managed to always stay connected one way or another. He’s been there for some major challenges in my life. If someone were to ask what I love most about him, aside from always being brutally honest and keepin’ it real, I’d have to say that he’s always been the life of the party. It sounds small, but the thing is, after my near break down Friday, my son and I visited Damo the next day because once again he was there to offer his professional services to help with a family conundrum. During our visit at the radio station with DJ Damo, he and I talked and as usual he always knows how to shine a light with his insight on every situation and bring out the humor. I couldn’t believe that only the day before I was ready to give up on all that I’d been working so hard for. In the moments of talking to him about what I was feeling it all seemed so silly. For one, I obviously wasn’t alone like I thought I was on Friday. Damo making me laugh non-stop by reminding me of all that I’ve overcome made me realize I was being quite foolish. It wasn’t my spirits alone he lifted, but my son as well. I hadn’t seen him really enjoy himself and having a great time laughing in a while. It had turned out to be a great day. After returning home and reflecting on the day, I couldn’t stop crying but this time they were happy, thankful tears. By simply being in the presence of loved ones and knowing that while I may not have an abundance of people in my corner to lean on, it’s ok because as long as I have the ongoing support of the few solid ones in my life, I’ll be just fine. All those years ago when I thought I wanted to bash Damo’s head in and he probably thought about body slamming me, who would’ve thought such an amazing bond would’ve developed since that moment. He may not smile much which again is why we should never judge a book by its cover, but he has more character and integrity than most and you can always count on him for a good laugh. He is loyal and I am blessed to have Damo in my life. In honor of my best friend turned brother, I love you so please help me with this “toast to a real one”!

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a “G-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

44 thoughts on “Toast To a Real One!

  1. I’m glad you have such a solid supportive friend in Damo. Knowing each other for such a long time adds to the depth and understanding as well. Hope you are able to enjoy the holidays. And congratulations on the new job!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Aww thank you, that means so much. At my age with all I’ve experienced, I share to let people know they are not alone and with hope, anything is possible. Not sure if you’ve viewed some of my earlier post, but they give more insight to my journey and how far I’ve come. many blessings to you my friend.


  2. Very sorry you went through the moment of anxiety and panic but sounds like it ended up with a positive outcome. Congrats on your new job!

    Your friend Damo sounds wonderful. Sounds like a friendship forged in fire and is now steely strong! 😊

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas! 🙏💕🎄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooh, I love that “forged in fire” wish I’d thought of it, lol. Thanks for the sentiments, as for the breakdown, that’s something I continue to work on. Some seem to think I always have it together & I share with them that I too have my “moments”, I just refuse to stay or get stuck in those “moments”.
      I hope T was surprised & you all enjoyed your Christmas as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yup I understand that panic first reaction. Then breath. Then calm down. Then figure it out. You should be proud of yourself for solving the problem and for changing you attitude so that you could end up with such a good and trustworthy friend. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s beautiful and worth celebrating. I always tell my kids,if you have one friend that you can truly count on is a blessing. And should not be taken for granted. Blessings to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. WOW Tammy. First of all, I don’t know how I missed your post because it didn’t populate in my “Readers” section. Go figure. But this genuine recognition of a dear ride or die” friend is very emotional. It brought tears to my eyes. It’s easy to get frustrated and down, but it’s even easier to take some deep breaths and go to your corner, and allow yourself to close your eyes and sit still.

    After you discovered that your dilemma wasn’t all that deep, then your answers came to you. As far as Damo is concerned, it sounds like he is a one-of-a-kind friend. 👍🏼 There aren’t too many genuine friends (male or female) who will break it down to the bone, keep it real, give you some tough love, and encourage you at the same time. I tip my hat to him and to you. 🎩

    On your promotion, congratulations QT! On your road ahead, things may now seem to start moving fast and furious. As Diana Ross sang, “It’s my turn!” Don’t get frustrated, don’t give up, just get ready! ☺😘🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not going to give it Sis, those moments don’t last but a few seconds. I decided to stop cussing out my computer & maybe it’ll treat me better, lol.
      As for Damo, he hasn’t switched up or changed faces not a one time since we met. He has been my rock for sure.
      The job is keeping me busy, I’m not sure what’s to come, but I’ve been asked to serve on the board of the Wellness Clinic. I’m trying to stay ready so I don’t have to get ready.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Booyah! Drop the mic! 🎤 Church is out and the congregation is not returning! 😱 Slam bam, thank you ma’am! 😂😅🤣

        Queen, I have nothing else to say. You got this. AMEN! Congratulations on serving on the Board for the Wellness Clinic. It’s all about elevation and timing. It’s your time to elevate! 🏃🏽‍♀️🦅🐱‍🏍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the support, it’s just that this is all new territory, but I was asked for several reasons, in part my experience in the medical field & insurance industry. Plus I think they need a person of color too.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, if this is an opportunity that will benefit you in the long run, then jump in the water with your life preserver on and swim your ass off. Sweetie, you my dear are a woman of faith. Just hold on. You’re gonna be ok. Use this opportunity to your advantage girlfriend! Don’t overthink, just roll with it!

        When you get bigger in status, don’t forget us little folks out here! 🤣😁😂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I love a challenge ( growth mindset).
        Your funny, status, ok. I do have dreams often of being on stage somewhere thanking specific people that have supported me in my journey as I bring them to the stage with me.
        If I can be honest, you made your way in those dreams before we connected & I’d wake up trying to force you out but when I go back to sleep you were still there holding my hand. I hadn’t got to know you yet, so I was trying to force you out but the kids told me you were there for a reason.
        Another reason you are special to me & I hadn’t planned on sharing that, at least not until we met in person.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Girl Tammy, you give me so much to think about and to remind me to be grateful. I am humbled by everything that you have shared with me, and sista’, I don’t take that or your friendship for granted. You make me want to be better and do better. 🙏🏼
        Thank you so much for keeping it real. I appreciate your true sincerity and compassion girlfriend. Stay the course and I will try not to disappoint! 😊 Keep hope alive!

        Liked by 1 person

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