It doesn't help that Thanksgiving is coming up, but the tragic death of Kanye West's mom is bumming me out, maybe because aside from consulting The Assimilated Negro's Guide to Coping With the Death of Kanye's (Or Your Favorite Artist's) Mama I've been flipping through her memoir, Raising Kanye. It sort of touts itself as a parenting manual, but it's actually a lot more powerful: it's a plainly worded treatise on Why (despite everything) To Have a Kid.
As much as I have tried to give to Kanye, I believe in many ways I have gotten so much more from him...I really do believe that our children are not our children — they are souls that come through us to fulfill their purpose...And because they are still children, they are not yet constrained the way adults often are. That's why, for example, they pick up languages easier than adults do. Kanye and I spent a year in China. While I struggled to put together simple phrases, before they left, he was able to speak and understand the language fairly well.
Donda tells stories of Kanye setting up a side business breakdancing for meat skewers, and teaching her the nuances of Chinese manners, of her own father being spit on by white men, of herself alone in Bombay crying as she watches a malnourished child die on the street. She depicts Kanye's dad (her ex-husband) Ray West, with no animosity; the one time she catches him talking to a woman she suspects he is interested in dating, she isn't jealous or angry but merely tells him that if he "liked Cynthia, that sounded like a personal problem to me. He would have to work it out." It's a telling moment; the first time you really grasp how selfless Donda can be. She and Ray proceed to work out their differences for long enough to have Kanye, and she dedicates the rest of her life to enabling his awesomeness. Because she is truly in awe of what she's created. And in an age where the younger generation seems to get ever dumber/vainer/lazier, it's critical to be reminded that they're the future! And sometimes they're so great you lose all your pride just looking at them.
So yeah, whatever procedure Donda died from, you know; times like this I've got nothing but love for trial lawyers. She did a great job. R.I.P.