An Ode to My Momma

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Mother’s Day 2022. May 8th, to be exact (in case you are reading this and didn’t remember when it was). I am doing my tribute early as it’s been on my heart and mind and I would rather be early than late. Mothers have a hard job, just being a mom. No matter what the ages of these humans are that she birthed, because until life is over, she is still your mom. I am going to talk solely about my mom, and we will call her, Louise for the sake of this post.

Louise is a damn riot. We have a group chat, my sister, oldest daughter, mommy and me. Quick on the gif game…she stay winning. Sassy and hilarious without even trying. She is a handful to say the least and as her oldest and dearest daughter I may not be an authority but I’ve put in a great deal of time assessing said situation of Louise. The joys of watching your parent grow is that you see them much different than you did as a child. My relationship with my mommy changed in 1979 when my dad died. It was a rough time for us all, in our own different ways.

I was 11 when daddy died at 32. Louise was 32 and now a widow and single mother of two girls. My sister was only 7 but she too was lot to deal with (that’s a separate entry). Louise was a hard working, no nonsense, no fun (so it appeared) mean ass lady. Remember: This is my story, she is my mother, and this is what it was like for ME at 11 and beyond so hold your wigs, as the turbulence may get bumpy for you sensitive types.

Mommy and I had a rough go of it. There was not a lot of talking “to” your children during my upbringing. You could be assured a conversation while getting a beating for something “old and new” though, and that I can guarantee you was not a conversation (although you couldn’t talk back) you wanted to have. There was no warm and fuzziness in our home. One favorite “ism” of the many she has is that “love is what it does”. Children don’t want “isms” they need and want hugs, to be told I love you and to feel and believe that their parents don’t hate them. You know, simple shit.

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None of the above however, was a thing in our home. We ate, we had our needs met, a few wants taken care of and the lights were on, “love”. I mean if that’s all you got you go with it right…until you require and demand more. I did, I needed more, I deserved more and better. Now again, she my momma so back off “Karen” if you thinking about coming for me…this does get better. Along the same lines of the above I didn’t know THEN but know NOW, my mother like many mothers worldwide had their own shit to deal with. Work shit, relationship shit (parents, siblings, trying to date, etc.), money shit, LIFE SHIT!!!

As children, we don’t realize that our parents are like real people. They have feelings and go through things…who knew; like really!!! It seems ludicrous to think that right? Our parents having feelings and have to deal with life issues. What a concept!! Yet, it’s true and it’s life. As a now almost 54 year old woman, with two grown children of my own, how I look at my mother is as it should be, different from 43 years ago. For that I am grateful. There are too many situations that I have heard of of failed relationships between parents and grown children which then blows up of course when that parent dies.

Now, to be in relationship with my mother is a joy. I look forward to going to see her, and she always has projects for “us” by us I mean me. We hang out, drink wine talk about stuff and thoroughly love on each other. Although she is still not all warm and fuzzy I found a work around. We take many selfies, I stand close to her, if I am lucky I get to braid her hair while I’m there. This kind of “love” works for us. I tell her I love her and she says it back, and that my friends is better than anything I could ask for, unless you have a bag of money for me; unmarked bills thanks. See, for this I know and will be ever grateful for making sure I maintained a relationship with my mother. I was not a bad kid, teenager, young adult but as we all know mistakes were made, things were said and feelings have been hurt. Apologize, make the necessary adjustments and make it work where applicable.

To Louise: I love you more than you would ever know. Some things don’t need to be said but definitely this does. I am the woman I am because of you. I have had to grow in ways that would have not been possible if not for things you instilled and me and even in the hurtful things we have said and done to each other. Forgiveness is a great key in mending relationships even if you one doesn’t know that it’s needed. We’ve done that and here we are. Happy Mother’s Day to the best mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

I love you beyond the moon and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Your oldest and favorite daughter.

Andrea

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