June 24, 2016. Around 7am. At age 56, my beautiful mother passed away. My entire life completely changed. A piece of my heart left with her. I have not been the same since that day.
I could talk about how hard-working she was. I could talk about how beautiful she was. I could tell of the countless number of times that she was always there when I needed her. Not only for me but anybody that called upon her. How patient, sweet, and funny she was. How she was the most giving and gracious woman I have ever known. I miss her so much…
I decided not to blog on the 1st anniversary of her passing to spend quality and reflective time with her most prized possession, my daughter, whom she affectionately called “KenniBoo.” In true fashion of the things my mother loved, we decided to go eat seafood and get ice cream. We lovingly reflected on her memory while we ate. We laughed and joked about the facial expressions she would make or certain things she would say. No tears. Just smiles. I am proud of how we have been able to talk about her without crying. Well moreso me because that little girl of mine has been a real G this past year. I asked her how she felt about it being a year since her “MeeMee” passed away. She looked me in the eye and said through a big smile, “I’m fine. Me and my MeeMee were straight!” 😊 As much as I would like to take full credit for how resilient and strong this child is, I really can’t. I’m more of a cry baby. She is definitely a reflection of her “MeeMee.”
As I not only reflect on how my Mom’s presence influenced and shaped my child, I look further back on my own childhood. I could thank my Momma for so many things that she did for me-really she did everything. She taught me real life lessons that I would need in this life. She is the reason why I have been able to have a level of grace, strength and resilience of my own. Not only did she show me how to be a woman, she instructed me on the lost art of being a lady. She taught me that a lady didn’t have to let it all hang out to be desirable or sexy. That you didn’t need to be the loudest mouth or the loosest in the room to attract attention from the opposite sex. A lady can command a room full of people with cool, quiet confidence. My Momma taught me that. Now those that know me will attest that I’m a good mix of those things from my Mom plus my Dad’s extroverted, talk to anybody, life of the party characteristics. I have to say that the stars aligned perfectly with me being born a Virgo- the introverted extrovert of the zodiac.
My Momma taught me not only how to carry myself but how to be a woman that would one day become a wife/mother. I don’t know that I could ever thank her for those pep talks and good ol fashioned “fussings” that I could only give a response of “Yes Ma’am” or “You’re right Momma.” It’s so ironic how I would roll my eyes (to myself of course-I ain’t no fool) when she would give me a tongue lashing on keeping house and taking care of a man. I used to tell her how old school some of that stuff was. She would say, “Alright, you’ll see.” If I could have given her a dollar for every single time she was right, she would have been filthy rich. That’s one thing I love about growing up Southern. Yes, you are taught to be strong, independent-minded and responsible but you are also taught, given the right man, how to be submissive and allow a man to be the head of the house. Fix his plate, love him completely, make a house a home, knowing what battles to fight. My Momma told me being submissive don’t mean being a doormat. Given the legacy of the women that came up before me, I would never be that. Don’t get it twisted, I’m a lady however we grew up in North Memphis which means if and when I ever needed to, I can and will throw these hands!! As my Momma would sometimes quote Tupac, “I ain’t no killa, but don’t push me…” LOL Yes, she really did say that.
As much as I wish my Momma was still here physically, I would never want that to be at the expense of living with sickness and disease, suffering for years and years. She didn’t deserve that kind of existence. As selfless as she was, I would never be so selfish about her life- willing her to hold on for me.
The only regret I have is that she didn’t tell us her cancer had returned in 2011. (She was diagnosed with a rare lung cancer in 2004. She had been in remission since 2005.) I guess I can’t really blame her for the choice she made, it was her life. She lived it the way she wanted to. I respect her for that.
One life lesson that I will hold on to until my very last day is to live life to the fullest because no matter how long you live, that time goes by faster than you think. Enjoy life, steer clear of drama and do the very best you can with the time you are given.
I heard/hear you, Momma. Your words didn’t go in one ear and out the other. I’m taking everything you said to heart and dedicate the rest of my life to living. Travelling, eating, enjoying my family and friends, enjoying the simple and priceless things that money can’t buy, creating memories that will last forever.
I felt so lost when you transitioned. Thank you for immediately becoming my guide. It’s crazy how clear I can hear you. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and always having my back until the very moment you took your last breath on this side.
For every hug, kiss, lesson, worry, dollar, minute, sacrifice, fussing, and prayer; for my existence – Thank you Momma…