Dr. Doula’s Farewells…


Someone asked me how Gene and the boys responded when it was time for me to go… They were GREAT! But for some reason… All I had was tears…

Gene walked me into the airport to see me off. We got to the check point at about 1:30. He wanted me to go get settled, but I asked him to stay a little longer… At least until 2pm. My flight didn’t leave until 3:19pm. He stayed and we talked. He tried to leave twice, but I kept reminding him, “12 more minutes…” “Not yet! 2 more minutes…” And then when when the airport clock read 2:00 pm, Gene said, “Okay, Dr. Mason… it’s time to go.” And then the tears came.

imageIt was like the 5 year old who had negotiated as long as she could on the first day of kindergarten, but without the demonstrative additives… Mine were just silent tears that wouldn’t stop. Just a pitiful pool of tears at each TSA check point… And just like that kindergartener, I kept looking back to make sure I could see my loved one… And each time Gene was right there and we would wave really big at each other and through kisses. We were quite a sight I am sure. And then I turned the corner… And the tears doubled down…

I keep crying… And I am not sure why…

It happened again when I landed in Atlanta and it was time to get off the plan. I seems like every time I was required to make forward movement, the tears came.


Even now as I am writing this, I am on the plane and the flight tracker says that we have 4hrs and 38 minutes left before we land in Johannesburg. They offer plenty of distractions through the Delta Studio to endure arduous international flights, but I believe that it is important for me to remain connected to my personal process, so aside from a few TED Talks (which I find extremely informative), I am aiming to remain mentally and spiritually connected.

I thought I would have an emotional response when I saw the land again after seeing nothing but blue water for hours and Hours and HOURS… but I didn’t. For me it was the forward movement and moving toward “points of no return” that elicited emotional responses.

I recall learning about the “door of no return” from which African ancestors passed through from an African brother from Goree Island in Senegal. I imagine the thought of leaving the familiar for the unknown elicited the same type of response from the ancestors. The thought of VOLUNTARILY returning to the continent of Africa was extremely overwhelming to me, however, the actual arrival was TRIUMP!

Just so you know… It is customary for my emotional responses to be less than traditional. I graduated from Tuskegee University on the same day I married my husband Eugene. I cried (the ugly cry) the ENTIRE length of the stage at my commencement ceremony, so much so that parts of the tassel from my graduation cap were sniffed up my nose. Because people knew my struggle from that year, they applauded me. I still vividly recall that moment. On the other hand, during my wedding later that day in the Chapel, I was all grins. I was SO EXCITED, while for the witnesses to the exchange of our vows, there was not a dry eye in the place.

It also happens that way for me regarding my children… I have what I call a pre-process. I think as intently as possible about whatever it forth coming and try to imagine as many possible scenarios as possible. Then I allow myself to process as fully as I can, so that when events that I know are going to happen do occur. I am able to be present in the moment and able to take in the experience with every sense – hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste – possible.

I will be in South Africa trying to take it all in… I will be trying to hear, see, taste, touch, and smell for Gene and our sons, but also for any others who wish they could be here and experience some part of the mystic and majesty of this beautiful continent, its beautiful cultures and its beautiful peoples.

I am taking it all in… Deep breath in and hold it…

2 thoughts on “Dr. Doula’s Farewells…

    1. Wow, Andrea what a beautiful way to say farewell for awhile from those you love and love you! Such a beautiful family. God Spend, ENJOY!

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