Shortly after midnight on August 10, 2018 my mother passed from this earth… She had fought a courageous battle against cancer for three years, although I’m quite sure she had been sick longer than we knew. So of course I no longer wanted her to suffer, but I never imagined a life without her. For fifty years she was the most consistent thing in my life. Always my mother first but as I got older, I got to know her as a woman and friend. Because I am the only girl and youngest of my parents five children, my mom and I always shared a special bond. Yes, I was spoiled… still am, but not in the stereotypical sense. Nor was I a rebellious teenager or “fast” as the old folks used to say. My mom was having none of that! She taught me how to love and respect myself and set the example with my dad and brothers about how to love and support Black men.
I learned so much from her! How to cook and entertain, shopping… quality over quantity, always! My love of reading and travel. She also encouraged me to discover me, even when that was very different than her. She was never fond of my tattoos and rolled her eyes every time I cut my hair. Sorry mom! She never understood why I enjoyed taking journeys by myself or why I went so far away for college. But she never missed an opportunity to tell me I was beautiful and smart, or asked for my advice. And we could really make each other laugh when we got going talking about my brothers and maybe a few other folks! She loved my fierce independence and courage. She didn’t believe me when I told her I got it from her. I did! I have also learned to be a really good mommy to my one child, my daughter. No, I am not perfect… but I have a phenomenal blueprint and I am so thankful that my daughter had her grandmother for a significant part of her young life.
I have obviously faced a few holidays without her now, it hasn’t been easy. And as I sit here writing with tears streaming down my face, I realize that I will not have an opportunity to hug and kiss her and say “Happy Mother’s Day!” I realize that as my birthday in June approaches no one will make a big fuss quite like she did, like I was still that little girl. As her birthday in July approaches I won’t be able to plan a party for her that she will pretend not to want. And as the calendar turns to shortly after midnight on August 10, 2019… I realize that I love her even more.
My mom was a sweet generous woman. A strong Black Mother and Grandmother to far more than those she birthed and was connected to by blood. I was so proud of all that she accomplished and now understand the sacrifices she sometimes had to make. It’s funny, my mom always thought I was too nice and gave too much… Maybe I do, because that in fact is the trait that I most admired in her. She loved with her whole heart, always unselfish and kind. Not in a pushover kind of way, but in the way that let those that were lucky enough to know her “I see you, I care.”
Make sure the people that you love, know it! Tell them and more importantly show them. Don’t forget yourself… remember to show yourself some grace.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women that mother. Thank you.
Love & Struggle!