My mother taught me so much in such a short time. We only spent 12 years together, but I hope she knows that I valued every second of it. From the tough love to the long walks in the snow. I am…because she was….
10: If you can’t wait for marriage, wait for love: When I was young, I was a fast. Too fast for my own good. So fast, that at 12 years old I had a boyfriend that was almost 17! So, even though I was 12, she didn’t hesitate to have the “the talk” with me before she passed away. I remember her looking into my eyes and telling me that what I had was precious and that I didn’t have to wait for marriage but that I should wait until I was in love to have sex. She told me that once; I gave myself away I could never get myself back, so I should be sure to give myself to someone who wanted to keep me. I carried her words with me for a long time. And I kept my first boyfriend for 5 years!
9: Who you calling a bitch?: My aunt and my mother were best friends as sisters should be. When I was a little girl, they would try to sneak and have grown up conversations with me in the room. If they wanted to say a bad word, they would spell the letters so that I wouldn’t repeat it. On one occasion, my mother was talking about one of her coworkers and she spelled the word B I T C H. I had no clue what that word meant, but I liked the letters. In fact, I liked the letters so much that I thought it was a good idea to make them into a picture and show it to my mother in front of all of her coworkers. I was proud of my picture. She was embarrassed. At 6, I made the mistake of drawing the picture but at 11, I made the mistake of directing that word at my mother. It was the first and only time she ever hit me. Needless to say it was by making the second mistake that I learned... “bitch” is a bad word!
8: Modesty is the best policy: Believe it or not, for the most part, I had the body that I have now when I was 12 years old. Furthermore, my feet, hips, behind, and breasts have been bigger than my mother’s since I was 10. Noticing how quickly I developed, my mother made it her business to teach me the proper way to dress and carry myself. She told me that a woman with a nice body can wear a potato sack and look good. Meaning there was no need to expose myself just to get attention. She told me that a lady leaves something to the imagination, and that one could be sexy without being trashy. Some people may call me conservative, but I call it self-respect, dignity, and class.
4: Natural Beauty: The kids teased me in elementary school because my mother made me wear braids. She told me that young girls couldn’t get relaxers in their hair until they were women. And being a woman meant getting my period. Grrr…how long is that going to take?, I wondered. I didn’t have to wait long because I was 10, when I “become a woman” and got the “privilege” to get my hair permed. EPIC FAIL. It fell out. And 13 years later, I nearly had to shave it to get the creamy crack out of my system. My mother always told me that my natural hair was much more beautiful than the broken dry disaster that the perm would cause. I didn’t believe her then, but now I have grown to appreciate the beauty of my natural hair.
2: Survive: it was over 16 years ago, when I buried my mother, but her memory and her lessons thrive within me every day. I’ve been told that I move like her, that I cross my legs like her and have an old soul like she did. I have her sense of humor, her way with words, her creativity, her complexion and her shape. It makes me proud that people can see my mother in me, but more than that it makes me humble. I know that cancer took my mother’s physical body, but what it couldn’t take was her spirit. That still lives within me. Through me my mother breaths, laughs, cries….creates. In me…she survives.
1.Life really is too short…. She was only 42 when she died. I am sure she thought she had much more that she ended up having. But losing my mom at such a young age taught me that you never know how long you have, so its integral that you live your life to the fullest…everyday…until the last one. Pursue your goals. Chase your dreams. Love your partner. Drink too much. Sleep too late. Make mistakes. Change lives. Love yourself…cherish you family.
…And on your birthday, honor your mother….
Below, I have posted the lyrics to my mother's favorite song. Being a single mother, she always told me that it was about me and her. I love mommy, I hope you're proud.