“I just didn’t have them back then.”

shipping containers

I’m having a fantastic week.  A few days ago, I watched Wanda Sykes’ Not Normal on Netflix.  (Cut to me grinning through tears when I found it on my home screen.) 😭🥰😆🙃 Watching was like getting a Prozac infusion while eating Jade-approved yellow cake.  I laughed so hard I’m surprised I didn’t get a noise complaint.  Especially since it involved a bit of involuntary running about, standing up like my seat was on fire, and hollering at the TV.

It’s just that Wanda Sykes is The Comedian Who Made Me Laugh So Hard I Hurled.  She knows how to make all my bones spontaneously turn into jelly.  She casually (and scientifically) explained everything I need to know about menopause (while I was winding down from ugly laughing.)  It all makes sense, now. 🤔👍🏽  Humans are even more incredible than I thought. 🤯🙃

Just when I discerned I’ve been playing a discreet version of Hot Lava, with my bed as the safe zone, Wanda Sykes pops up and says, hey, girl, it’s going to be okay. 🥰  (Oofda, I needed that.)  I finally got to compare notes with a woman who was also interracially adopted, recently.  It was fascinating, and my mom is now even more awesome than I knew.  She did things I didn’t realize at the time were so thoughtful and brilliant.  I’m so proud of her.

black hair

 

For example, she hired local university students to socialize with Heather and me when we were little.  (The only other black people we knew of at that time were Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Janet Jackson, and Kim Fields.)  My mom sensed we needed to meet black people who weren’t on TV.  I have fond memories of slumber parties in the dorms at Augustana with young women from all sorts of places that weren’t South Dakota.

We got our hair braided.  We went to concerts, plays, and sporting events with our new big sisters.  They invited us to their homes on school breaks in other states.  We visited a church with all black people, (and I wept uncontrollably from the moment we entered until a woman caught the spirit and started convulsing on the floor, and I ran over and hugged her and wouldn’t let go until I was pried off.)  I thought she needed holding, and the idea of not acting on it terrified me.  Heh.

As I’m sure you’ve imagined, Heather’s version of that event was a lot more detailed, protracted, and (evidently) hilarious.  (Recalling it was one of her favorite ways to shut me down for years afterward.)  😂 Remember that time we went to that church?  🤭 I can laugh about it soon.  Also, the convulsing woman hugged me back, so I knew she was okay, and I held on because I had so much to say to her, and no words.  Here’s a secret:  In my spirit, that hug was an I love you to my culture, and I never let go. 💜✌🏽

“I can’t believe this is happening.”

umbrella ella ella eh eh eh

I’m thinking about my mom a lot, of late.  The upcoming holiday adverts have likely penetrated my thoughts.  I have so many memories of my mom.  A part of her exists in my head now.  Often, I hear her comments in my mind.

I have what I refer to as the Greatest Hits collection.  It includes things she would often say, such as, “I’m the mom; you’re the child.”  (I’m a wee bit embarrassed by how much convincing I needed on that point.)  I accepted I wasn’t in charge, eventually, but never that I was a child.  Fortunately, the temporary nature made it moot.  🙃

I remember the horrible, awful way it felt when I first realized my mom was human, and therefore, imperfect.  (Cut to me at age six, on the phone with 911, reporting my mom for lying.)  It felt like being yanked up and back at high speed with no warning by an invisible force; resulting in utter disorientation in the universe.  The same way it felt when she died.

mother

It wasn’t the first time I lost a loved one.  I was still reeling from the loss of my brother, a year prior.  I honestly didn’t know it was possible to continue existing after losing my mom.  How the hell could I walk when there was no longer a ground?

There’s no way to prepare in advance for the loss of a parent.  When it happens, you fall apart.  Part of the foundation of your existence is gone.  You have to figure out how to rebuild it from within.  It sucks.  It’s hard.  All I know is it helps to become your parent (to yourself,) taking over the role your parent once fulfilled.

I usually know what my mom would say or do in a situation.  She’s still an influential guide in my life.  I now have a reinforced foundation built of the many things my mom taught me when she was here.  It also consists of applied lessons gifted from others who helped shape who I’ve become.

Happy Mothers Day

I’m grateful I had her as long as I did.  It’s funny how I used to resent her for knowing me better than I knew myself.  I thought it was the peak of audacity when I was a teenager.  😂 I can still remember the sound of my mom laughing hard.  It’s one of my best treasures.  I’m off to read ✌🏽💜