I wrote this poem for my mother a few weeks ago. She passed away on January 9, 2020, and I have written many words with her in mind. However, to celebrate Mother’s Day, I wanted to share the words I wrote in her honor that did not come from a place of sadness. I’m a mother myself, so I want to have more smiles than tears today. Also, for your enjoyment, I’m sharing a song by Lenny Kravitz called Thinking of You that he wrote in honor of his mother.
Ms. Carroll didn’t always paint herself in the best light, but she was pretty honest, and that is what I appreciate about this memoir. I listened to the audio version of this book, as I often prefer to do with memoirs, and I am so glad that I did. She was a wonderful performer and listening to her felt more like listening to a story rather than just hearing her read. I’m aware that she had published her autobiography years prior to her publishing this memoir, but I felt that she gave quite a few details about her younger life to help catch the reader up to speed on where she was with her experiences later on in life.
Been encouraging myself more often lately because I deserve it. I work hard and have gained so many gems that can’t be taken away from me. I have my days, weeks, and months when I really just want to curl up and go into a dark place, but I’m still here! So, on the first day of my 32nd year, I tell myself, “Happy Birthday! Bitch, you doin’ a good job!”
I absolutely adored this memoir. I picked it up because I was a fan of Ms. Tyson’s and was saddened when she passed in January 2021. Pretty much every movie and television role I have seen her in during my lifetime has involved her providing some sort of wisdom or maturity. In my mind, she’s always been Mother Tyson because she’s always someone’s mother who keeps everyone’s feet on the ground. In her nine decades of life, I figured she’d have some pretty good stories and life lessons to share.
I was pleased to learn how relatable Ms. Tyson was. The stories she told about her immediate family during her childhood and adolescence, her perspective on marriage and single motherhood, her view on racism and society as a black woman starting from the 1920s and beyond were all gems.
This is the third book by Tiffany D. Jackson that I have read/listened to in the past two months. The topics and headlines she bases her novels on are tough, heart-wrenching, emotionally draining, and outright terrifying because they are real life.
Grown involves sexual abuse, physical abuse, profanity, and some other uncomfortable topics. This story sparked a lot of emotions for me, so I may go off on a tangent here and there. Forgive me in advance.
I couldn’t let the month of September close without acknowledging my book. This month marks five years since I published my book. I always said I wanted to have a book on the New York Times Bestseller list. My book hasn’t made it to that list yet. I was a little disappointed at first, but really, it was a lofty goal. There’s still time.
Finally, I took the time to finish this today while I practiced my crochet skills. Great storytelling. I enjoyed the narrator for the most part, except when he did female voices. I was definitely caught up in the storytelling. I watched the movie as a child and later as an adult. I don’t think I’ve watched it since I became a parent, but listening to the book and listening from a parent’s perspective made me appreciate the actions of the man on trial.
Trigger Warning: There is some discussion of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and depression in this article. The views expressed here are my own.
Recently, I watched some videos on YouTube about the DeBarge family. Several of the family members had some success as the musical group DeBarge in the 1980s. I have seen other documentaries and read articles about the history of this family, but this telling of the DeBarges’ story sat with me different. The YouTuber I watched is a good storyteller, but even if she had been terrible, the Debarge story is sensational enough to have had the same effect. In short, the children suffered unthinkable abuse at the hands of their father. Most of them grew up to become addicts, marry abusive partners, and even abuse each other.
Like many people, I used to hold the belief that you could only blame so much of your present on your past. To a certain extent, I still believe that is true. But, with all that I have learned about human behavior, psychology, and the human body so far, I now know better.
This came to me in a dream/memory. One of my now fondest memories of my mother was from a late night when I asked her to detangle my hair after I had washed it. Usually, she would say no because I have very thick hair and her back and hands weren’t what they used to be. It would quickly become painful for her. I think I was about 28 years old at the time and this took place about a year and a half before my mom went into hospice. I was so grateful that she agreed to comb my hair. I fell asleep in the chair while she stood and gently detangled my coily hair, greased my scalp, and plaited my hair. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget her. You only get one mom.I was in a deep slumber when these words woke me up and I had to write them down. I went back to sleep as soon as I had finished writing but couldn’t remember what I had written until I read it again later. I’m just glad it made sense. I miss you, Ruby.
It has been taking me longer to get through this book than I thought it would. It isn’t because the book is written in such a way that it is difficult to read. The book doesn’t have that many pages either. I’m still going through the stages of grief associated with my mother and both of her brothers passing within a year and a half of each other. My mother passed away January 2020 and it is still very fresh for me.
However, I have been pushing through, even if I’m only reading a page or two a day and I have made it to page 104. The main character Eddie has passed away tragically and unexpectedly and now that he is on the other side of life, he is encountering different people on his way to heaven. According to the book’s title, there will be five people. At this point in the story, Eddie has just finished his meeting with the second person.
There were a couple of things that stood out to me during this interaction. I’m going to try to explain them without spoiling the story.
The second person Eddie meets takes him back to the time he spent in combat. He, along with some other men, were taken prisoner. They eventually escaped but it was due, in part, to a unique talent/skill that Eddie has. As I was reading this scenario, it reiterated for me that I have talents that may come in handy in the most unusual places. On top of that, I happened to be reading this on a Saturday and though I am not a devout practitioner or follower, I have found Deepak Chopra’s 7 Laws of Spiritual Success to be useful and I have a copy of that list taped to my bedroom wall. The 7th law is the Law of Dharma which Chopra describes as “Seeking your higher self and discovering your unique talents.”
I’m not sure if the author of this novel intended it to be a spiritual experience as much as he intended for it to simply be a novel that people enjoy, but with where I am in my life at this moment, this story has been both. It would probably be less spiritual if I weren’t constantly thinking about my mother, but there are still some great nuggets of wisdom to be found in the pages I have read so far. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens on the next pages.