It's been one year today since I lost my mother. I was speaking to my nephew a couple days ago and he said, "I can't believed I survived a year without her." Me too. I always told her that when she died I'd jump in the casket with her. She would say, "Hush boy, you'll be fine." And I guess that's true. I am "fine", in all it's ambiguity. There still isn't a day that goes by that I dont miss her. I don't go more than a few hours without thinking about her. All the good meals and good times I've had this year, all the cities I've been to, at one point I've whispered, "Damn I wish Ma was here." I think the worst part about this milestone is knowing that this is the first of many. Today it's one year, then it's five, then 10, then a whole lifetime. Memories become fuzzy and details get mangled. I'm afraid to lose the vibrance of the memories. The sound of her laugh, the width of her smile. The 2 hour long conversations on Saturday mornings, the jokes and the advice. It heartbreaking to know that the nature of time will fade the past.
But the broken heart will always stay the course. Watching a woman who was so robust and strong so full of laughter and love literally wither away right in front of my eyes is a trauma that has marked me forever. Sometimes I feel more like a man-child, guessing my way through adulthood hoping not to muck it up too much. It's like when a child does something well, their first cartwheel or wheelie on their bike, they look up to see if mom is watching. Every accolodate and every appearance. Every published article and every award. I look for my mother. Not hearing her squeal in delight about my accomplishments, not being able to watch her gush and squeeze me saying, "I just love you, Tiq-a-boo," makes it all a bit bland. But we march on. All of us that have lost our mothers. We live another day carrying a light for her. The women who bore us. The women who raised us.
It feels like a club. I call it "the dead mothers club." The natural order of things says we'll all be a part of this club one day and rightfully so. We're suppose to bury our parents, they're not suppose to bury us. It was the other folks around my age who gave me the best advice when my mom passed. People's prayers and condolences were nice gestures but that's where it stopped. They all knew there wasn't enough "love and light" in the world that could take the pain away. . They all told me the same thing: The pain never goes away it just gets more managible. We will always miss and cry for our mothers. And I remember everyone. All of us who are motherless in the world. It always fascinated me that people actually survived without their mothers because I just knew I wouldn't. But I remember all of us. Ericka and Chanel...Krystal and Lola...the twins Busta and Keisha...Jonte...Anthony...Data and LaCarrie...Simba and Angela...Aja, and Bree...Qumari and Syeeda...motherless.
Yet I'm honored to be Mary's child. I'm grateful to have been raised by her in all her old school austerity. The wrath of her authority and protection was a fierce as her love and comfort were gentle. I look forward to passing on all the lessons she instilled in me in my child....love them just as hard...watch over them just ferociously.