Sunday, May 10, 2015

From A Child's Heart

I would rather be under a rock. Days like this are bitter sweet. Mother’s Day. Millions of deserving mothers of all fashions will be celebrated and appreciated. Flowers, cards, and trinkets. Hugs and kisses to last a lifetime. Laughter and stories of love, chastisement, and joy. December 11, 1979 my mother was called home to be with the Lord. I was 16 years old and months away from giving birth to my own child and now at the age of 52, I dread this day almost as much as I dread Christmas, considering the month itself. I pen this with a hole opened wide in my heart and the fire of tears threatening to fall. I absolutely want to scream, but I write instead.
My mother was a beautiful woman standing about 5’7 with legs of a dancer. Jet black hair pressed and bumped at the ends with a slight touch of gray brushing her shoulders. Brown eyes that danced when she smiled. With gold covered teeth with a smile that lite up any room.  A laugh that was contagious. A stern look that said, try it. In the neighborhood I would often hear statements like, that is a classy lady or your momma don’t play. Momma would wash and press my hair. She would cook and keep a clean home. I watched her wash cloths by hand with a wash board in the bath tub. I watched as she hung clothes on the line so the sunshine would brighten and the air freshen. How I wish I could show her how much I appreciated her. With her hands she would sew, needle point, crochet, and all of this she taught me and then some. On a good day though there were not many, she would dance a little and drink homemade wine with my aunts or an occasional beer which I found astonishing. I remember on night her and my Daddy were going out. She put on her dress, heels and make up and was absolutely stunning. Some Sunday’s she would take me to church and to hear her pray enlightened me. I wanted what she had, a connection to the Almighty.

Momma would suffer from life threatening asthma attacks that kept me out of elementary school on many days and up most nights fanning her for her air. I would sleep on the floor on quilts right next to her so if she called out, I would hear her. Those memories are very vivid. I remember going to the hospital and the nurses in their crisp white uniforms with those funny little hats said I could not stay and had to leave. I was crushed, my big sister my only comfort. Calling 911 for an ambulance which would take her to the hospital, a child I was. Never during those times did I think I would be without her, never entered my mind. Going fishing and hanging out at the Goodwill rummaging through large bins of everything imaginable. Finding treasures and feeling like a million bucks in the school clothes that were found there, I miss those times. My mother would rise up early in the morning making coffee and watching her television shows. Wonder where I got it from? Though she did not work outside of the home, she always combed her hair and put on her clothes. She said, a lady should always be presentable. She would surely fuss me out if she could physically see me on the weekends. Tom Jones was of her favorite shows along with Tony Orlando and Dawn. She loved the tallest singer, said she looked like my big sister, and she did too.  As a child, I thought sometimes that the lady really was my sister

So many good memories and yet so much pain. Emptiness has always been my closest companion. I know emptiness very well. Throughout years I have learned with God’s help and His alone to celebrate my mother. To cherish all that she said and taught me. All that she did not say. To live in the blessing that I am still in my right mind to even think on her contribution to my life, I am grateful. I have heard many people young and old say, I was not asked to be born. This is such a disrespect and verbal slap in the face to the life of a person who carried them, raised the, nursed them through sickness, and sacrificed their existence all so that they could have a life and to have that life much better if chosen. No matter how ugly they acted, mothers still there and in their corner even though they may not want to hear the honest words of unfiltered truth about their children. I have learned to remember the good times and be thankful that due to her health, she is not suffering or in pain, but healed. Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy. Looking back, I had so many plans to take care of her until her last days as best I could have imagined. I had plans to give her comfort where she never had or felt it even though she never once complained about anything. She made due with every turn and twist, and I wanted her to have her due rewards.

Today, Mother’s Day I say thank you Mommy. Thank you for giving me life as God saw fit for you to do. Thank you for combing my hair. Thank you for making dresses for me. Thank you for bathing me in Ivory soap. I smell it now. Thank you for the Christmas toys you tried to hide from me. Thank you for pulling up a chair to the kitchen counter and teaching me to cook whatever you were cooking that day. Thank you for allowing me to burn my hair out with the pressing comb when you said, that it was time for me to learn to comb my own hair. Thank you for having a plate ready for me when I got home from school every day that I can remember. Thank you for those whippings I knew at the time I did not deserve but you knew I needed it. Thank you for every no you said because you knew what was best. Thank you for everything you did to the best of your ability. Thank you for being my living and breathing Mommy for those short 16 years and thank you, for being my Mommy watching over me from your divine seat from Heaven above. Thank you for all of the warnings you gave me. You were right.  I know when you are closer than close. Thank you for breathing on me when I need it like right now, I no longer want to cry. I pray one day to be right next to you. I will be holding your hand and I will never ever let go. I love and miss you Mommy, my golden light above.

Happy Mother’s Day

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