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.
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.
A few weeks ago my daughter and I were at the grocery store and saw that they had several plants outside that were on sale for 50% off. We purchased a succulent and a strawberry plant.
Since the peace lily I inherited from my late Uncle is still alive and well and I find that taking care of that plant to be therapeutic, I decided, why not? Let’s see how this goes.
It hasn’t been quite a month yet, but I figured it’s past time for me to re-pot the strawberry, at least. It was looking like it needed some new life.
I need all the prayer and good vibes I can get. I’m hoping that my green thumb will grow along with this strawberry plant.
I live in an apartment, which is another factor in how well this plant will grow. Maybe I’ll get a UV light. I’m not sure. This is yet another project on my ever-growing list of projects.
Another stop at the Family Dollar gave me the bright idea to add two more plants to the collection. It would be different if I at least had a balcony to set the plants on, but I don’t. I guess I’m just determined to have a garden somehow. Good plant vibes, please!
Seen and unseen connections. Who sees you when you’re not looking? I like to believe that I have my own angels, one of them being my mother, who have my back and keep me away from devastation. I have made it to page 55 so far and the main character, Eddie, has died and meet the first person out of the five people mentioned in the title in Heaven. It seems to me that the author, Mitch Albom, is trying to illustrate how connected we all really are without realizing it. He shows us how our actions may affect someone else, maybe even a stranger, and how we may never know it until it is our turn to transition to the other side.
I think most people can agree that 2020 has been interesting, to say the least. In my case, I had my fair share of highs and actually prospered where many people struggled in the midst of all the mess, but I have also suffered great loss.
Just before the pandemic I lost my mother to heart failure. A few months after she passed away I lost an uncle, her baby brother, suddenly. As of this writing, just a little over a month ago I lost another Uncle, the last of my mother’s living siblings on her maternal side and one whom I cared about dearly, to cancer.
Through all of that, if you’ve skimmed one of my more recent posts on the blog or Instagram, you’ll know that I spent some time as an over the road expediter. During those long drives cross-country I was able to catch up on some reading via audiobooks. One author in particular I had started reading was Mitch Albom. I had heard of him quite some time ago and had started reading his most well-known book, Tuesdays With Morrie, but never finished it until I listened to it while I was on the road. That led me to listening to another book of his called The First Phone Call From Heaven.
As I sit here now contemplative and curious of all things spiritual, I have another book of his called The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I’m not new to spirituality. My mother would’ve told anyone that I was gifted, chosen, or blessed with some gift. I’ve taken the route of candles and tarot cards but I’m very familiar with the Baptist church and non-denominational Christianity. I try to let god tell me who it really is rather than people. Still, I certainly believe there is an afterlife and now I have several angels I can call by name.
The books by Albom that I have read so far all deal with living, dying, grief, and love in some way. I started Tuesdays with Morrie long before my mother passed send only recently finished it. There were many lessons in that book about love and loving while you have the opportunity. I’m interested to see how many more ways Albom can express that sentiment. I haven’t written a book review in quite some time, but I’m looking forward to writing this one. I’m feeling like writing something, anything, is what needs to happen for me right now.
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I am understanding more and more why many people treat plants like children. This Peace Lily that I inherited from my uncle who recently passed away has been receiving almost as much attention as my actual child.
There’s something very satisfying and therapeutic about nurturing a plant and watching it grow. I just got back home after being away for a few days and came to find that it was very sad and wilted. With some water and a little extra sunlight it has perked right back up and I’m happy. ☺️ Maybe I’ll get another live plant eventually.
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Where have I been? Where am I now? Those are very good, potentially philosophical, questions.I have been away from my blogs for quite some time, but I have still been writing. As of the writing of this little personal essay, I was touring Paisley Park yesterday and I am leaving my hair behind in a hotel trash can outside of Minneapolis after I decided on a spur of the moment big chop.
My job as an expediter literally takes me across the lower 48 states of the USA and most mornings when I awake I have no clue where I will be by the end of the day. It is a fairly decent-paying job that has allowed me the opportunity to see many landmarks and beautiful scenery, but it comes with its fair share of stress and I lose the ability to be the hands-on mother that I was before I started driving. However, my daughter is part of my reason for working this position.
I’m looking towards more entrepreneurial endeavors in the near future. This post is the first I’ve been able to bring myself to write in months. I haven’t been able to commit myself to pulling out my laptop and putting in the work of updating my blogs. There was just no room in my head. Today there is. I don’t know if it is courtesy of the wellness planner I bought for myself, the budget planner, the new vehicle I just purchased for myself, the tour of Prince’s house or the fact that I took a pair of scissors to my hair, but I feel good. I have been writing a few poems and thoughts in both my digital and physical notebooks, but I think I’m finally in the mood and mindset to begin posting them again. I think that’s where I am. I’m in a place that feels good. The good place.
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