You came home in a boot.
I called you crying when I heard that my ex’s mother had passed away. You didn’t understand and tried to tell me that I didn’t need to cry. You didn’t understand in the moment but I figured you had caught on as the days passed by. I don’t know why I assumed that. We are literally from two different countries and we have never seen eye to eye on anything in my almost 34 years of life. We are… different.
Then one day I yelled at you because you tried to tell me who I should and shouldn’t mourn. You told me to cry over my Nana who had passed and not the woman who had been like another mother to me for two years. Nobody puts Baby in the corner… and nobody tells her what to do. I fussed and told you the truth: the tears that I cried were because her death made me realize your mortality. The death of his mother- a 53 year old woman- coupled with the fact that you are the age that your mother was when she died, caused me to think of the inevitable.
One day we will all be reunited with our Abba.
I yelled and then stormed out of the house. In true Waiting To Exhale form, I called you from the car and apologized… for my tone and for yelling. “I meant what I said, mama, but I didn’t have to yell.” Whitney Houston’s character said that over the phone to her mother and I said the same to you. I’m sorry, mommy, I didn’t mean to yell at you. I hate being told what to do, but more than that, I hate being told how to feel. At times I feel like I am nothing more than a ball of emotions so when someone tries to suppress my emotions, I explode. But still, I am sorry.
When your mother was 65 she was blessed to retire from her job as a nurse. Later that year her Diabetes spiraled out of control and she ended up in the hospital. She was in a coma on your birthday (December 12th), passed away on your brother’s birthday (December 18th), and was buried by another’s brother’s birthday (December 31st). And then when January 10th rolled around and it was her birthday, we all mourned on what would have been her 66th birthday. You are 65 now and as we approach November and December, I recall the last few months of your mother’s life.
You have Diabetes, just like her.
You only know how to work, just like her.
You are in nursing, just like her.
With the way 2020 is going, an unhealthy level of fear rises within me as memories flood my mind. I am scared to lose you and that’s what I thought of as I read that his mother had passed away.
But all of God’s children must return home to Him.
I have to realize that we are only guaranteed one thing when we enter this world- a departure date. We don’t know the day, time, or cause but one day we must leave. As much as I don’t want to think about that, my inability to effectively communicate with you causes me to think on these things.
The comforting words that I shared with him, I say to myself now. From the moment you met Christ, you changed and began to live for Him alone. You live every day of your life with the desire to please God and be reunited with Him in the end. Unlike me, you don’t dwell on the “what-if” and “maybes” of life; you just live as best you can. I admire that about you. You truly live the lyrics of that song that Aunt Fanny used to sing and I love you for it.
Yet you came home in a boot.
After you sprained your ankle a few weeks ago, I knew that there would be a serious healing journey ahead. You are 65 and your body doesn’t heal as quickly as it used to. Yet once you were cleared, you returned to work (even during COVID) because that’s who you are as a person. But we all knew it was too soon.
As you walked in with the boot I uttered no words. There were no playful jabs that came to my mind and there were no words to speak. I could see your face and feel your heart, so I just left you alone.
We always joked that I needed to find my real mother. Despite that fact that I am the spitting image of you, you always denied me (and your other children), claiming that you only had grandchildren, not children. Whatever, woman. LOL! You always tell me that I should find her… which is why I find it funny that you don’t understand why I cry over the death of women who aren’t related to me by blood. God knew that I would be too much for you. He knew that you would need help in rearing me and showing me His heart, so He placed many mother-like figures in my life. And my ex’s mother was one of those women.
Seeing you in a boot broke my heart but also made me want to be strong for you. I instantly thought of what I would need to do. Take on another job, schedule more photo sessions, write more for money (rather than passion), and I became overwhelmed. You’re my mother- the only biological one that I will ever have in life. We disagree often and never see the world the same, but you will always have my heart.
I don’t know what I expected this letter to say or how I expected it to flow, but we are here and, well, I love you, Chickie Pooh….