Sunday, July 13, 2008

Missing My First Love

There has been only one woman who has been able to get my attention and maintain it. Her voice and her beauty are constant imprints. She was definitely the first woman I fell in love with. No doubt about it! The first woman I desperately wanted to meet, and say to her, ‘Although, I don’t know you, I love you. Thank you for sharing yourself with me.’

Most recently, I must admit that I have thought of her at least once a week. She has been that remarkably prominent and that unbelievably important to me lately; and I know why. But, I am not ready to share. However, I will say this: Phyllis Hyman, my First Love, has a way of communicating pain while providing motivation to keep pushing. Thankfully, all I have to do is press play, and her sweet voice begins to serenade:

“I do not wanna lose you. I love you as you are. I don’t wanna lose you, I could love you more. Tell me love will remain though we may change.

My First Love’s birthday is July 6, 1949. Phyllis was born a cancer and died a cancer, June 30, 1995. The day of her tragic death I was overseas struggling to figure out who in the h*ll I was. Giving back. Loving life. Enjoying where I was at with myself, but trying to master me. I was living the dream. My dream of serving humanity abroad. It was my first attempt at ‘changing the world’. Then the news on that HOT summer day hit me like a Mack truck. I was stunned. I could not believe that Phyllis after captivating me decided to call it quits:

"I'm tired. I'm tired. Those of you that I love know who you are. May God bless you."

Ms. Hyman admitted she was exhausted. Done. Feed-up with life.

What a depressing week I had after hearing the tragic news via the BBC. I still remember where I was sitting. I have played back that moment so many times over the last 13 years, and I still cannot understand why she ended our love affair by overdosing on sleeping pills and vodka. She just left my life. No notice. Nothing. Perhaps, I was not one of “those” she loved?

Since that day, Brian E. Payne has been in mourning. All I have to remember her by is the attached picture. And, on occasion, when I am prepared to face the pain of losing my First Love, I listen to that one song that I have recently been able to dissect. And, today I want you to go there with me: I Don't Want to Lose Your Love.

Listen to the lyrics. Allow the words to consume you. Try your best to become one with my First Love, and you will comprehend that in this song she is referring to herself. She is not singing about some man. She is disclosing to the world that it was her that she was trying not to lose. She wanted us, those who make an attempt to love ourselves, to know that she was on that ever-changing path of self-discovery too:

"Who do you think you are? Who do you wanna be? You’re the only one that really knows. Maybe you will be surprised after your search is through. Then you will find that you just been chasing you.”

Unfortunately, Phyllis Hyman did not believe that she had anything remaining to chase:

“Maybe you will never find the secrets of your mind – but you gotta try, you gotta realize…”

Phyllis had other plans. She controlled her destiny without regard for my love. So, now I am left to ‘pick up the pieces’ while Living All Alone:


Derrick said...

Thanks for sharing this with me (and others). I too remember the place and time when I heard the news of her departure from this earth. I remember being sad that one of my favorite artists is gone. I also remember being angry that she decided to take her own life. I was selfishly thinking of how much I'm going to miss her beautiful spirit and her heaven sent voice. There have many times (and I sincerely mean MANY) since then that I've thought about what she must've gone through to come to such a decision. What must've it been like in her world that the public couldn't see and didn't know. I wondered what her loved ones must've felt when they heard the news. I (we) may never know all the answers but I cherish the time she did spend here on earth. Although I wish she had not decided to say good bye to us, I don't condemn her, I cherish her memory. Life can come at you at all kinds of ways and I for one have had suicidal thoughts before. I think that most people have thought at least once, "What if I just end it all?" I have never once thought of seriously acting on it but I have thought if it would be easier. I wish that Phyllis had not acted on it but stayed strong and weathered the storm. Life isn't always going to be easy, Hell, usually its the exact opposite. But holding on if nothing else but to experience those moments that make it all worth while, like listening to this heavenly voice, is what keeps me sane.

FREEDOM said...


Excellent piece! Well written. You did a great job taking me there with you.

Talk about some good music Phyllis Hyman was nothing but the truth!!

Muata said...

Reader Response:

I liked her as well.............she was a pretty woman. I thought it was sad, that she was in that much pain to take her own life.


Muata said...

Reader Response:

That’s actually a really nice blog that you wrote. I have one question and one comment for you.

Why were you up at 3 am in the morning writing?

I thought I was your first true love. Now, I am so sad to found out that I was not. I am crying!!! LOL – Smile

I am just joking. However, this is really a nice piece that you wrote. Keep up the good work.

Peace for now and love always – your girl,


Muata said...

Reader Response:

well written...i love to read those pieces that show your inner soul.....its how I know Muata....hope you aren't struggling too much with sound like you are!


Muata said...

Reader Response:

Boy you know my mama didn’t let me listen to “secular” music when I was growing up. I think I must have missed out on Phyllis’s heyday but I enjoyed the song. Thanks for sharing.

You are such a Cancer ((chuckling)) to my Capricorn. Sadly, I must admit that I struggle to relate as I can’t recall ever being as prof oundly impacted by the musician as you seem to be with Phyllis. But I hear you. I mean, there are some songs that no one but the original artist can “sang”. Whatever the “it” is that they have – that “it” just can’t be duplicated or replicated. Isn’t that beautiful how we all have a unique gift to the world that is ours alone to give? Sad that we don’t know how special it is until it is gone.

It is always hard to read blogs and not wonder what inspired it. Oh how I always wished to be the fly on the wall in the brain of the blogger. Guess I am just nosey that way. ((hint hint – hoping you will tell what or who inspired this one)).


Muata said...

Muata Responds to Derrick:

'Ending it all' for most is a viable option, and for some I don't blame them. The emotion/psychological pain for some is unbearable. Hoping and praying and hoping and praying just does not cut it for these people.

If one (the suicidal person) believes in heaven, why not 'take oneself to a better place; a peace of peace?'

This is complex.

I selfishly miss Phyllis Hyman - but it is almost like her purpose was fulfilled. At least for me.


Muata said...

Muata Responds to RG:

when it is gone is when we notice the impact. truly sad.

my gift that i pray i am giving/sharing is with the power of the pen. my writing. i pray i am inspiring and encouraging. at least making someone's day here and there.

what inspired this piece: depression. i typically get that way now and then. i am a cancer. we are complex creatures. but, no need to worry: this to shall pass.
just a season, rg. just a season.

thanks for asking.


Muata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Muata said...

Muata Responds to Freedom:

Muata Responds to Freedom:

She definitely was the TRUTH. She served a great purpose.


Wen said...

Phyllis of the sweetest voices of all time.

I had to respond to your comments regarding Phyllis b/c, not only am I great fan, but I also can identify with "that place," of pain, as I know many other can - I mean let's be honest - when do you blast Phyllis? Not on a summer day, rding through the park, with your windows down. It's usually when you're going through something, with the lights low, and a glass of "coping mechnism."

Phyllis had a pain buried so deep within her and you could hear it when she sang. Did she have happy/upbeat songs? Of course, but I know that she "cried out" way before the fateful day that we finally heard her pain.

Many men and women, are good at masking their pain - sometimes they take it as far as Phyllis did, sometimes they don't...sometimes they don't unmask the pain until it's too late.

I think that's what Phyllis was tired of...masking the pain.

FREEDOM said...

I know how you feel about missing an artist. I am so missing Marvin Gaye right about now. His conscious mind was taken away from us way to soon. His album “What’s Going On” is heavy rotation for me right now. He was just so conscious of the times and an did an excellent job articulating what was “Going On” at that time in history, which if you listen to the lyrics applies to today’s history too.

With Songs like…. What’s Going On, What’s Happening Brother, Flyin’ High (In The Friendly Sky), Save The Children, God Is Love, Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), Right On, Wholy Holy, Inner City Blues ( Make Me Wanna Holla). These songs just take you there and guide the conscious mind that we as a black race have to come together, and we as a world has to come together too! TOGETHER…Believing in One Another!

I am so missing his conscious mind Right about now.

Muata said...

Muata Responds to Freedome:

Marvin was head of his time. Clued-in. He knew What was Going On. Most people like him leave this disgusting earth early.

We (black folk) need to come together....I doubt it. We toooo farrr gone!