There is no other person, living, that I appreciate more than my mother. She's a great sister, wife, mother and grandmother.
We've had our rocky parts in our relationship, but we've never gone too long w/o speaking to each other. Like any other parent/child relationship, we've not seen eye to eye, we've despised each other's choices in lifestyles, and we've been crtical of each other's existence more times than I can count. But one thing I know for sure, our criticisms of each other has been fewer than our mutual genuine admiration for one another.
We were reared in a very strict, ultra conservative Christian home. We weren't allowed to wear pants, makeup, nail polish, use public swimming pools after we developed breasts, go to the movies, sleep over at friends' homes, go to parties, dances and everything all of our other friends were doing. So when I see the Muslim girls walking around w/their heads covered I can empathize because we couldn't do a lot of things 'normal' children could.
Momma was born in Zint, AR and moved to AZ when she was sixteen. This was the first time to see the desert, the first time to be away from her grandmother, cousins and aunts, and the first time to attend an integrated school. She laughs when she tells of how frightened she was on the first day of class when she found out her seating assignment was next to other white students. And even though some public places were still segregated, the schools were not.
Momma never learned to drive so she's had to wait for us to drive her around but sometimes she'll take a bus shopping somewhere and be gone hours at a time. Because she refuses to carry a cell phone we have to wait for her to get home before being able to fuss about her disappearance acts in this big, dangerous city. Why do children start thinking their parents have lost their minds? I don't know about you but after my father died I've been overly protective (read: smothering) of my mother.
My mother, when we were growning up, wouldn't allow us to express too much emotion. We couldn't come to her crying and whimpering and we seldom saw her express her true emotions. On the occasions when she did let her guard down, we would be devastated and concerned. Unfortunately for her, she reared three children who are very emotional in our adulthood. I cry at Subway commercials, for God's sake and my sister is a 'waterhead', she cries so much! My younger brother is just like his mother. He keeps his emotions well hidden. I'm sure this makes my mother proud but I know how dangerous it is physically and mentally to keep all that stuff bottled up. Better to scream it out, I say.
So, I love my mother and as she approached her 67th birthday, I'm so glad she's with us and healthy. It's a blessing to have a mother like mine, one that cared for her children, taught us right from wrong, instilled morals, educated us and dressed us. Loved us and prayed for us, taught us to pray and when to pray.
Happy Birthday, Mommy. Debo loves you!