I miss buying my mom things that I knew that she would like or things that she needed. I miss making her laugh. I miss just knowing that she was there. I miss how she knew everybody’s birthday!! She would know great, great nieces and nephews birthdays or would remember relatives from long ago. As she got older and grew more ill, she would still say out of no where, “Today is somebody’s birthday”. She would sit and think a little harder and sometimes it would eventually come to her. I miss acting silly and scooching up to her to give her “kitty nuzzles”. Don’t get wrong, we had our moments and certainly our arguments like most mothers and daughters, but at the end of the day we would always make up. There are the people who will have something to say about the relationship that I had with my mother, but those are the same people that never or hardly bothered with her at all. The relationship that I had with my mom was multifaceted and complicated at times, but love was always there, I always answered her calls, and she never wanted for anything that I could afford to get her.

I spoke at my mother’s funeral and I was accused of white-washing her which simply isn’t true. Mom never gave the airs that she was perfect and she would say in certain conversations, ” I ain’t been perfect, but I tried”. She was always open about decisions that she had made and even though those were her decisions she would talk to me about how to make other decisions and considering other options in my own life. I would often talk to my mom about certain problems that I was having and what I wanted to do, but she always would tell me that regardless of what others showed me or regardless of what they did to me, “that I needed to show people how to be”. I shared those words at her funeral, again people took that as my mom putting herself on a pedestal or that I was trying to put my mom on a pedestal and that simply was not the case. ” I don’t know how she could say to show people how to be cuz she aint been all that”. Oh yes…..the vapors of crap will always circulate back around – in other words – I heard about what you said! People often threw things up in my mom’s face or would talk out of the side of their mouth to her about things and instead of her going off on them, she would show these people kindness and love. I remember asking my mom one time if she knew that a certain person was trying to be “smart” about something they had said. She did not move a muscle, only her eyes shifted directly at me and she said, “I knew what they were saying, those are people living in glass houses and they forget that I knew them when, they don’t know that I could remind them”. Or sometimes, she would say, “they can’t help it”. I never…you hear me, I never understood that and not only did I not understand it, but it really made me mad. In those instances my mom would tell me, ” Sometimes you have to show people how to be”. When people were rude to her and cut her off for not attending her sister’s funeral, my mother forgave them instantly and told me that it was okay. Her capacity to forgive was tremendous. I have preached in front of thousands and at one point in time I held the title of an evangelist, but I could never grasp my mother’s capacity to forgive. It was amazing. In hindsight, I think that Momma’s capacity to forgive was a reflection of how she would have like to have been forgiven. Instead of telling folks about themselves, I think she modeled how she would have liked to have been treated along her paths. Even though she never received that for herself, she never wavered from forgiving and having a great deal of care in her heart for others even to those who showed no care for her at all. I don’t know if I will ever have a heart like that, I can still only marvel at hers.

Today is my Momma’s birthday. I don’t talk to much about her and this is the first time that I have written about her since she passed on, but I think about her everyday. My mom wasn’t famous, she wasn’t perfect, she did not have any fancy titles, but she did have a purpose…..she was born to be a mother. She was a good mother and she never stopped mothering clear up to her last days, she was still counting her ducks (children) and making sure that her kids were okay, that her family was okay.

Happy Birthday Momma – I love you, I miss you. I hope you are pleased with what you see of me now, I am sure there are days that you shake your head, but just know that I am trying……

My Heart’s Newest Anthem

Every time I tried to make it on my own….

All those lonely roads that I have traveled on….

When the friends I had were no where to be found….

There was Jesus – love this song, take a listen –

Help Others to Live

Several years back my mother took ill and was in the hospital for a while. Her hospital room was bombarded by people that haven’t seen her or bothered with her in years. A group of about 10 -12 people stopped by after a funeral. I entered my mom’s hospital room to see people who my mom had been missing and trying to reach for the past few years with no return and now they show up? A few of those people, one in particular, was angry with my mom for not going to a funeral. My mom’s sister, her last sibling, passed away a few years before and she was angry with my mom for not going to the funeral. It was my mom’s right to determine what she could handle, not anyone else’s. It was told to me that this person was at the repass discussing how my mom would have to live with the fact that she did not go to her own sister’s funeral and after that she did not talk to my mom until visiting her at the hospital. Needless to say I was angry. It did not help that I had siblings who never even liked that side of the family or me, but was now siding in with them and playing the part of the “peacemaker”. The bonds that are formed out of dislike and hatred are truly and indeed strange.

After the group left, my mom became sick to her stomach and later said that it was good to see everyone, but that it was just too much right now. With that, I restricted visitors but then immediately was accused of keeping the family away from my mom. Okay…. so the people who didn’t bother with her, never called her, was angry with her for not going to her sister’s funeral and never called her, are now accusing me of keeping them away from her? They kept their own selves away from her. My only goal was getting my mom well. I was not interested in appeasing their guilty consciences for how they treated her.

It is funny how we as a society have mastered the art of saying good bye to someone, but we can’t help them live. We can show up at a funeral, but can’t we show up in everyday life for those that we say we care about. Even after my mom became better, it went right back to no one calling her or paying her any mind, the only problem was that I was still being blamed for what they did not care to do.

Hospitals and funerals are no place for family reunions. We have a responsibility to help people thrive each day. Don’t sit around and wait to say goodbye to someone, help them live!!!!

Not Married and No Despair

At my age you get a lot of questions for not being married, like why aren’t you married, why haven’t you gotten married, are you even looking to get married, and here is the kicker, “Ahh, you will find someone”. Really? Don’t feel sorry for me, or perhaps I should say, don’t try to sound like you care.

Don’t get me wrong, I do look forward to being married one day, but I am not in despair. A few years back I ran into a cousin at Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve. She asked how my mother was doing and I replied that she should call her sometime soon. Instead of responding to my request, she pointed to what appeared to be an 8-year old boy and said, “Oh, there’s a husband for you”, and then laughed and walked on. There was sooo much that I could have said to her, but I decided to leave her thinking that her world was okay. It is funny how some married people spend so much time on being meddlesome with other people’s relationships and they fail to tend to their own, that is all I will say about that.

I could have been married 3 different times by now, but it is not about just being married, I want it to be right and the right person intersecting with the right time has not happened yet and you know what? That is okay with me and it is really no one else’s business, not unless you are honestly praying for me and my future spouse.

I used to cringe when people would ask me the infamous, why haven’t you gotten married question, but not anymore. I am peacefully single. I know who I am, whose I am, and the value of what I have to bring to the table. One day, that right person and the right time will intersect and a new chapter will open in my life. Until then, I have my own chapters to write, roads to travel, and the fabulous journey of becoming the best possible version of ME!!!