I met Tamecka a few years ago. I immediately saw her bubbly personality and felt her warm spirit. She meets no stranger and always shows off her joyful disposition. God has truly given her a spirit to embrace others. I wondered where this spirit derived from and where she drew her inspiration. With her permission, I explored deeper.
A New Day….
It was New Years Eve. It is a time when thankfulness and culmination of one year and the transition into what usually are change, new goals, desires and new beginnings of another. Tamecka, a single mom, was baby free and excited to spend the night out celebrating with a cousin. Instead of staying the night, she headed home in the wee hours of the night, ready for some quiet time and a chance to cook a New Years day meal when she awakened.
A Familiar Face …
As she approached her apartment, Tamecka sees “T”, a gentleman that dated a friend and lived in the adjacent building. Tamecka felt somewhat safer getting out of the car since she saw a familiar face. She initiated a quick hello; they exchanged a few words in passing and “T” asks to use her phone.
Tamecka made a quick follow up call to let her cousin know she had arrived home, while “T” stood in the cracked doorway. Once “T” was given the phone, he attempts back-to-back calls, in which Tameka could hear the sound of a non-working number on the other end. He eventually handed the phone back to Tamecka and to her surprise sat down beside her on the sofa. He immediately struck her in her face. In shock, her first thought was if the acquaintance was conscientious of his actions, and questioned why he reacted in that manner. While continuously striking Tamecka in rage, she simultaneously attempts to dial in the direction of 9-1-1. She eventually loses control of the phone and continued to negotiate for her life realizing she needed to fight back in hopes of survival.
As the struggle became more intense, ”T” pulls out a sharp object and punctures Tamecka’s eye. He wrestles with her small-framed body back and forth across the room as she attempts to run towards the cracked door. Tamecka’s screams became louder in hopes of being rescued from this nightmare. The brawl had become significantly messy. Shivering, bloody, wounded, and in shock, Tamecka’s pain turned into numbness. As she lay prone on the floor, “T” punched her in the head over and over and over again.
“Is this really happening”, she thought. Tamecka, being a woman of faith began to call out repeatedly, “In the name of Jesus”. Her cries to the Lord were answered with “Shut up. Jesus can’t help you.” While lying in her own blood, she realized she was losing the struggle and energy to fight. Common sense kicked in, Tamecka began to slow her breathing as if passing out, and pretended to be dead. The battle slowed.
Help is on the way…
Tamecka mentally began to feel some relief as she heard sirens ring out in the distance. Unfortunately this demon-possessed man was not finished with her yet. Thinking she had blacked out, “T” unbuckled his pants and pleasured himself in preparation to rape her. He touched and kissed her body, and in fear she accidently uttered a response out loud. “T” yelled obscenities at Tamecka and struck her in the head with the sharp object once more.
Seconds later, doors slammed outside and pitter-patter of steps approached up the stairs. There was an immediate intentional beating on the door, which startled her attacker. Hurriedly, “T” jumped up, began to robe himself, and pushed the door closed in attempt to keep the person from entering. Tamecka gained a burst of energy and screamed to the top of her lungs. As “T” ran to the bedroom to escape, an officer finally entered her apartment in pursuit. Tamecka was still somehow coherent, and able to get up and run to a neighbor’s apartment, while officers proceeded to apprehend her attacker after jumping out the window.
As Tamecka hysterically shared details with her neighbor and officers, they stared in shock at the grotesqueness of her physical appearance. She requests the presence of her family as paramedics prepared to rush her to the hospital. Tamecka was still unaware of the severity of her injuries. As she was about to be transported, Tamecka heard her status via dispatch: “We are bringing a 24 year old African American female with multiple stab wounds, and scissors protruding from her left ear.” She had been struck in the head with cutting shears. The entry wound was all the way through her ear canal, exiting from the other end of her head. It was not only a miracle that she was coherent through all of this, but most appallingly, she was alive.
It took doctors 13 hours to figure out how to remove the scissors precisely. The doctors had prematurely ruled out the possibility of Tamecka recovering fully. Blindness, deafness, stroke and death were some of the few possible outcomes. After numerous cat scans, MRIs, medications, final goodbyes and preparations of possible death, doctors finally decided to go forth with surgery. After hours and hours in surgery, doctors were able to successfully remove the cutting shears, which laid parallel to major arteries and veins. Tamecka had survived this traumatic experience.
Tamecka later learned that “T” had several pending domestic abuse cases as well as assaults cases towards her friend. On the day of her 25th birthday, her attacker was sentenced to life in prison and is eligible for parole in 2026.
Tamecka attributes her reason for living to her faith and her relationship with God, as well as the support of numerous family and friends. Today, she is first and foremost a devoted wife. When going through her tragic experience, she had the support of many, but one childhood friend stood out , never leaving her side. As time passed and the relationship grew, she became enthralled with this old soul, his heart, respect, and devotion. About a year and a half later, she married her love Roderick. October celebrated 17 years of growth and marriage and their love is evident. As a mother and a woman on the move, Tamecka celebrates life and the accomplishments of her two sons and daughter; 23,17, and 15 respectively. She tries to set the best example for them in her daily walk. While she would give her last for her family, she is sure to admit that she loves God and herself, first and foremost. Having gone through all her trials, Tamecka feels that her self-love increased her confidence, courage and overall will to live purposely.
“A brush with death makes you want to live a more fulfilling and purposeful life, try new things, explore spontaneity and embrace everything. My experiences have molded me into the woman I am today. I am more aware of my surroundings. I try to make good judgment calls and I am conscious of my circles of influence. Respect begets respect. Love begets love. Embracing begets Embracing.
I am always more than willing to share my experience, because I know God wants to use me as a vessel for not only women but for all. I’ve done countless interviews and shows. I was even rejected from a show because they said “I wasn’t sad enough”. But that’s not me; life is what you make it. There’s been more joy than it has been hurt, despite the magnitude of my pain. My scars and wounds are my remembrance so that I never get too full of myself and forget where God has brought me. It’s one of the reason’s I’m so photogenic and love taking pictures.”
There. Is. Life. After. This is the footprint that I want to leave. It doesn’t stop at the trial or point of pain. If you believe your life has any meaning, you can overcome anything. My purpose is still prevalent and even though it was 18 years ago, it resonates just like it was yesterday. I will never forget and I do not want my story to lie dormant.
While Tamecka’s zestimony focuses primarily on assault from someone she somewhat knew, she also endured domestic violence in dating. There are different nuggets one could take away from this zestimony but simply put, Tamecka wants us to remember… There is Life After.
Listening to Tamecka talk about this experience was very encouraging. Her strength, joy, and zest and zeal for life is one to admire. She reminded me that though everyone’s story is different, it’s up to us to use our experiences to inspire others no matter how bad it may have been. No one trial trumps another. We must translate them into positivity. God has given Tamecka a spirit to hold no negative remorse or energy towards her past. She doesn’t worry if it will happen again. Rather, she lives joyfully checking things off her bucket list. She loves hard and she continues to encourage others, openly sharing her heart and her zestimony. May her story be someone else’s strength.