I am living proof that one can overcome insurmountable odds that can come your way because I successfully navigated through numerous setbacks and adversities that confronted me as a single parent. But through all the Oh! Jesus moments of my disastrous but inspiring life, God was always there watching my steps, covering all my disorder with His grace, while steering me back to Him and victoriously taking me to the Other Side of Through. As you read my book, you will laugh, cry, and cheer after grasping the true meaning behind "Ronii’s rainbow."
Oh! Jesus, Help Me Over the Hump of My Rainbow is a memoir of inspiring and revealing stories from various seasons of Ronii’s life. She uses paradigms of four rainbow colors—described as 4 roads—to paint poignant pictures of growth and reflection from her childhood, to being a single mom of 1 daughter and 2 sons. Ronii’s stories run the gamut of rape, abuse, despair, rage, rejection, depression, promiscuity, and dishonesty.
Touching every human emotion, Ronii tells how she successfully navigated her way through numerous adversities and setbacks that confronted her as a single parent. But through all the truly Oh! Jesus moments of her disastrous but inspiring life, God was always there watching her steps, covering all her disorder with His grace, yet steering her back to Him and victoriously taking her to The Other Side of Through.
Ronii is living proof that you, too, can overcome insurmountable odds that may come your way. Many friends and professional colleagues refer to Ronii as an insightful spirit who sees things others are not able to envision about themselves; she’s an exhorter, a motivator, a counselor and a sage. As you read this book, you will laugh, cry, and cheer after grasping the true meaning behind Ronii’s rainbow.
My rainbow began on October 2, 1945. That was the day I was conceived, and according to what my mother told me, here is how the story goes.
Mom said it was a fabulous autumn day in Baltimore to make a baby. Outside, it was seventy-one degrees; the wind was crisp, cool, and blew constantly into her windows. Three hours of morning showers gave the porch flowers a much-needed drink. Because rain usually stirred my mother’s loins and caused her hormones to rage, Mom found herself wishing privately that my Dad would soon come home from work to settle her down, so to speak.
The day passed quickly, and Dad got home from work at his usual time, seven o’clock. After eating a quick dinner, Mom put my nine-month-old sister to bed and convinced Dad they should turn in early that night. After sixteen years of marriage, Mom said she knew exactly what signals to send Dad for him to know that it was definitely a yes night. As they lay naked on their rickety double bed while that crisp October wind blew coolly through their window, Mom gently squeezed Dad’s hand—he instinctively knew what that meant—and before the fireworks started, she sweetly said, “Honey, let’s make another baby tonight.”
Dad gave Mom a quick grunt of agreement and proceeded to handle his business. As Dee slept peacefully in her crib, Dad’s sperm did the egg dance with Mom, and by her account, fireworks flew—so to speak—as they did the horizontal hula that night. Mom said she knew, without a doubt, she had gotten pregnant that night with me. Before she fell off to sleep, she muttered to Dad that this child would also be born at home under Ms. Maggie’s watchful eyes. (Maggie was the midwife who helped with my sister’s birth.)
Amazingly, nine months and seven days after that October night, my mother went into labor very early Tuesday morning, July 9, 1946. As her labor pains grew more intense, Mom said her anxiety heightened about my imminent birth; and a dozen things raced through her head of stuff she needed to get done around the house—like washing the kitchen curtains, rearranging the living room furniture, and defrosting the refrigerator. But there was a slight problem. Mom only wanted to give birth with my Dad by her side. And since he was at work and not due home for about ten more hours, she came up with a plan.
My mother actually believed she purposefully delayed the progression of her labor pains with me by sitting down in a hard chair for an extended period of time to slow up my birth. And when she wanted to speed up her contractions to make the birth move along faster, she believed walking briskly would make that happen.
So at 5:00 PM, a couple hours before Dad was due to come home, Mom began walking up and down the long hallway in our house to speed up those contractions. Imagine that!
As I was cranking and turning inside her belly, Mom said she began thinking about the distinct differences between her other four births. (She had given birth to three children from another marriage before she met my Dad.) I was her seventh pregnancy—two others ended in miscarriages. She went on to say she wondered if there is a correlation between the degree of birth pain and temperament of the child. Her first three births were really hard, and my two half brothers and my half sister were difficult and troubled souls. With my sister Dee, Mom said the pains were smooth and easy; and Dee was an even-tempered, sweet, and docile little girl. Mom firmly believed Dee’s temperament was very much connected in some way to the easy time she had in giving birth to her. And guess what? Dee grew up to be just like that—sweet, docile, and even-tempered!
However, the birth experience with me was quite different because I really put Mom through some paces! And you guessed it. I was a far cry from being docile, even-tempered, and sweet.
Mom considered herself somewhat of an expert on the process of giving birth as her labor slowly progressed into the day. Despite the warnings from Maggie, Mom was determined to wait until Dad got home from work before she pushed me out of her. Dad was there for the birth of my sister, and he definitely wouldn’t miss my arrival. Privately, he hoped I would be a boy. Both Dee and I had a small audience present at our births; aunt Minnie was there for Dee’s birth and aunt Juanita was there for mine.
Mom said when she glanced at the clock at 7:10 PM, she heard the jingle of Dad’s keys in the front door. She continued walking up and down the long hallway in their modest two-story dwelling so her labor pains would become closer together. She could feel her body getting ready to expel me. Around 9:30 PM, after four hours of continuous walking, Mom wobbled back to her bed and asked Maggie to tell Paisley it was time; and he should come upstairs right away.
Dad skipped two steps at a time up to their second-floor bedroom. He began to comfort Mom as she pushed and waited. Finally, around five till ten, Mom asked Dad to help her get out of bed so she could stand straight up. She put her arms around Daddy’s neck, straddled her legs, announced that the baby was coming, and told Maggie to get ready! Mom said she pushed really hard one last time. Whammo! Out I came! Now when my sister was born, the very same way, aunt Minnie called out and said, “Here comes Page-ja-lee” (that’s how she pronounced my Dad’s name). Aunt Minnie said that because she believed Dee looked like my Dad. When I dropped out, my aunt Juanita told my mother to name me after her because my face was round just like hers. That’s how I got my middle name, Vuanita.
The tenseness in the room suddenly lifted once I cried and began to move. My birth certificate says I was born at exactly 10:00 PM and weighed seven pounds. Mom said my face was round as a plate, and my eyes were blue as a North Carolina sky. Maggie said there was a compelling aura about my little face. I was named Vee. As Maggie cleaned me up, checking that I had all my fingers and toes, she commented to my mother how much longer it took this daughter to be born than their first girl. Being a superstitious old woman, Maggie told Mom that she felt her second daughter would be a real handful, nothing like sweet little Dee.
After the excitement over my birth subsided, Mom said she was ready for a nap. But just before falling off to sleep, she looked over at my Dad as he held me and said, “Paisley, something tells me that this little person is gonna be a real pistol after the hard time I just had getting her here!”
And that, my friend, was the beginning of my rainbow.