In the words of Big Mama, “I ain’t no mo’ good today”. I had the pleasure of attending Muffins with Moms at McKenzie’s preschool this morning. Interestingly enough, nothing was going right – couldn’t find her pick (#blackhaircareproblems)….she was moving slow…couldn’t find my keys…forgot to put in my “breasts” (breast cancer survivor)….couldn’t get my necklace fastened…traffic for days and she’s only 3 minutes from home, but we made it to the school with time to spare. There were all kinds of treats…stuff that I usually don’t eat for breakfast since I am constantly and always aware of my diet. But it really wasn’t about the food…it was about us mothers spending time with our children and receiving the gifts they had so lovingly made for us.
When we walked in to take our seats, C (named withheld for privacy) walked over to me and hugged my thigh really tight. She told me she didn’t have a mommy for Muffins With Mom. That her mother was in heaven. You see, C lost her mother when she was just a baby (2 I think) to an accident of some sort. I have never really asked the details because I don’t want to pry. I just remember recently chastising McKenzie when she let me know that “C gets to do that” whatever the ”that” was. And me being an old school Black Mama raised in Mississippi, I said “I don’t care what C’s Mama let’s her do…you my chile and YOU ain’t doin’ it”. But this time, McKenzie shut me up because she quietly said “C doesn’t have a Mama, Mommy….she’s in heaven”. And immediately, I felt a sudden sadness. Because I had been C during my own childhood, and it brought back the pain of missing my own Mama and growing up without my mother’s physical love. You could say that I was cursed or blessed at the beginning of life, I would guess it’s all in how you view things. My own biological mother, for reasons which I am NOT clear and certainly reasons that will never be good enough in my eyes, put me up for adoption after she had me. I will stop there, since I still need to share the details in a book I am writing.
But the blessing was (though I would not realize it until much later in life) that GOD allowed a “stranger” to CHOOSE me as her child through the adoption process. Did you read what I wrote? That had to be some kinda woman to CHOOSE a child she did not give birth to as her own. Madear loved on me too, Y’all. For 6 years until GOD called her home. She died as the result of a car accident, and I was motherless again.
But before you cry for me, know that GOD (and I’d like to think my mother’s prayers) placed mother figures in my life – to care about me, love on me, pray for me, root for me, hug me, applaud me, celebrate me…when I needed them most. The Rosie Lees, the Opals, the Renes, the Miss Lindas (my beautiful mother-in-law who would sadly pass at age 46) and others.
Later in life, I had the pleasure of meeting someone who was in ICU visiting my mom shortly after her accident. She said my mom knew she wouldn’t make it, and all she could talk about was “who will take care of my baby..who will raise my baby?” Even on her death bed, my mothers’ thoughts were unselfish and not for her, but for the child she had claimed as her own. I needed to know that. To understand that a mother’s love is POWERFUL and transcends death. Because even death cannot destroy MEMORIES. Death cannot destroy LOVE.
After I’d completed college and become a CPA, I had a dream about my mother. She was dressed in the finest clothes (like I always remembered her) and was in church with me but on the back pew. I didn’t know she was there until we filed around the church with our offerings. She smiled at me, gave me an approving glance..I waved…mouthed to her I’d be back after church to visit with her. I remember being so excited and turning around on that front pew to look back at her. But before I could have that conversation in my dreams, I woke up. With tears on my pillow. I knew that she was proud of me, and I felt her love all around me that day and ever since.
So all of that is why I invited C to sit down with me and McKenzie for Muffins With Mom. I knew that even though I had never met C’s mother, I can pretty much guarantee that her mom would have never left her side willingly. No mother raises her hand and says “Lord take me from my young child”. That in C’s mother’s last days, or minutes, or seconds, her thoughts, love and prayers were with daughter. That she prayed for C to know and feel a mother’s love in person…a mother’s concern…a mother’s care…a mother’s touch. That one day, somebody would have the chance to step in C’s life and mother her, if only for a few minutes. I smiled knowing C’s mother was smiling down on the both of us. C hugged me, again and again, and I accepted again and again. I was happy to have her in one arm..and my own child in the other because it made me feel closer to my own mom who has been gone now for almost four decades.
I have always loved and appreciated the sentiment of Mother’s Day, even while at the same time hating it because it made the loss of my mother such a glaring one and hard to bear. My heart goes out to children of ALL ages who have to celebrate this day without their mothers. May you be comforted this Sunday and every day of the year. That leaves those of you that are so blessed to have your mothers still. This Mother’s Day I am asking you…NO I am TELLING you to call your mother. Spend time with your mother. Tell her how much you love her. Do something nice for her. Cherish her. Hold her hand. Hug her. Because somewhere there is a little girl like C who WISHES she could hug her mother one LAST time. I know because I am also that little girl.
Happy Mother’s Day.
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