A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Momma


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.

My mother named me after her but she switched the names around. When I was a teen I used to tease my sister that my mother hadn't planned on having additional children because she gave me all of her names, thus strengthening my argument that my sister wasn't wanted. Ok, I admit I was a bit of a gooch at times.

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 taught us the Bible and the prophets, how to sew, crochet and write legibly. What she didn't enforce was cooking and being neat. While the house wasn't filthy, everything was cluttered. Today is no exception. My sister who had moved away when she was 17 came back to live w/us last year. Her biggest challenge was not living under Momma's roof again, it was all the clutter in the house! Well, she had to start cleaning and enforcing somethings and she had to learn to compromise on other things (like buying things for the house).


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.

She is the second daughter of five girls. Her sister Grat is my aunt who died in December. My mother and Aunt Grat were very close and even resembled each other. They frequently traveled to the Women's Conventions and other vacation spots and this will be the first Women's Convention that Momma will attend w/o Grat in about twenty years. This year I will attend in Grat's stead because Momma really wants to go and I don't want her traveling alone because of her age and because I'm really paranoid about something happening while she's away alone.

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!

6 Comments:

Blogger Bob Johnson said...

Very nice, Deb! Happy Birthday Mom!

February 23, 2007 6:07 PM  
Blogger Kiyotoe said...

Tell momma that "lil brother" said happy birthday too!

Now I have to go call my momma and tell her I love her.

February 23, 2007 9:24 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

I had to chuckle where you mentioned the housekeeping and "clutter" - reminded me of my Mom and me -only in the reverse as my housekeeping is often a good bit on the cluttered side whereas my Mom always had everything all neat and tidy and EVERYTHING put away in its proper place. It used to drive her bonkers!

But this was such a beautiful tribute to your Mom. She had to have done a great job raising you as it appears from your blog that the important attributes people should have all settled in very nicely in her daughter.

Hugs and congratulations to your Mom on her birthday from me too even though I am a day late in posting this. Better late than never?

February 24, 2007 8:16 AM  
Blogger Lizza said...

Happy Birthday to your mother! What a sweet tribute to her.

February 24, 2007 2:06 PM  
Blogger Maria & Stefano said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Such a beautiful post!!!

M.

February 27, 2007 9:02 AM  
Blogger Debo Blue said...

Bob-thanks!

Dragon-OHMYGODYOUREBACK!

Jeni-she's all that and a bag of chips:-)

Lizza & Maria-thanks!

March 01, 2007 1:30 PM  

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