I’m not gonna be maudlin this year so let me wish you all a Bless-ed Mothers Day. My Mama is with me too.
When the sun shines i think of her. After my mom died i was obsessed with sunrises. i would rise at four and five and sit outside on my back deck and watch it. Some mornings would bring beautiful memories, some mornings would bring reality of the family struggle, the tug of war, the maliciousness that follows the loss of someone great. I swallowed a lot of tears in that first month after her passing.
I drove to Palmyra (approximately an hour and some away from Richmond) daily after she passed to check on my Daddy. Although two sisters lived in close proximity to him, one was caught up in her own grief and thoughts of what she couldve done differently for her mom when she was alive. It was unspoken but i knew. Guilt can be a motherfucker especially when it runs deep. The other sister had a grudge against my dad because i stopped her plot to gain control and extort money from him. She didnt speak to either of us for about eight months after my mama died. Her stupidity cost her valuable time with her father. Her loss….
He was silent, withdrawn and alone. Him being alone resonated with me the most. They had been together 55 years. I had no words of comfort for him the first week after she died. He and i were in shock and just our presence had to be enough to comfort each other. About a week had passed and my dad came back from running an errand (which he preferred to do alone) and sat down in the living room with me. He said he had something to tell me. He said, “each day since we buried her ive been going up there to see her. I don’t stay long but i talk to her. Then i come back here and wander around the house feeling guilty” i tried to reassure him he had nothing to be guilty about. He took great care of my mom. Like most married couples they had their times on the razors edge but they stuck it out and became each other’s best friends again. His next statement was enough to scare me into action. “i know this is gonna sound crazy but i wish i could dig her up and bring her home i hate leaving her there” I told him i understood and i did, but i realized that if i didn’t want to lose my father to a broken heart i needed to take him home with me. I did exactly that. I told daddy we are going to pack you up and you are coming back to Richmond with me and you are staying through tthe new year. I can NOT lose you too. I won’t survive it. We can help each other heal. He normally would have balked at the idea of leaving his “Ponderosa” but he acquiesced. Like me he knew nothing was holding him there.
After about a week passed by my dad started to talk. He would tell me how much he missed her and would share stories of their meeting and early courtship. He told me he chased and could have ended up with many a woman but he marveled over Gods miraculous plan to send him Mamas way. He also started talking to me about WWII which is something he NEVER did, because the treatment of Black Men in that war was so horrific. My mama always instructed us NEVER to ask daddy about the war. He now readily shared those stories with me. He also wanted to talk about his young cockhound days and the ladies he knew and the life he led. He asked me if he was being too open and personal and i told him, YOU CAN TALK TO ME ABOUT ANYTHING i am here for you. At that point the flood gates opened and he felt at ease to talk to me. My father and i became bosum buddies at that point.
One day he was in the midst of a story and he stopped and said “you know what? your mama knew she wouldnt be able to stay with me forever and now i understand why she pressed me to have you. She gave you to me so i wouldn’t be alone.’ It was my most significant memory of my dad and me during that time. It meant all the more cuz my mama told me i would have to take care of him long before she died and she was so glad she had me.
Mama I still see you in the sunrise…and in the storm…and in the rain…xo
Posted by Amaezing AJ – TheReal