“Where I’m At”

I feel like everything I’m doing now
I was born to do

when I write
something happens inside
like a spiritual birth
every time
and I walk away renewed

when I dance
I feel like I’m moving in heaven
free of thought
free of life
free to be me

when I work with women
I feel like every trauma I’ve been through
is their hope
because I’m on the other side
I’m grateful for all that I’ve been through

as a mother
I’m rewarded every moment
of every day
thoughts of my kids and grand baby
fill my heart

when I work with silk
I really feel like I know what I’m doing
even as I learn
like it was meant for me to do
and meant for me to create

when I speak
I feel like people listen
like really listen
and when they walk away
they’ve held on to what they needed

when I laugh
love overflows
into everyone around me
and when I cry
I think the same thing happens

I feel like I was born to do
everything I’m doing now

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Regretting the Past

“Don’t regret the past!”; I hear that time and time again, but you know what? I DO have something in my past I regret: not taking the time to visit my mom BEFORE she got sick.

When I found out she wasn’t doing well, I “finally” drove out there to see her, but by the time I got there, she was a different woman.

The mom I saw wasn’t the mom I remembered, yet now, it’s the only memory I have. At any given moment, when I think about her, I see her slumped in the hospital bed, struggling to breath, barely able to speak.

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That’s the memory I have now.

As I walk through the healing of all this, I plan to write, so I hope you’re ready to read.

If you’d like to help me cremate her, click here.

The Day My Mom Died

For some reason, I’ve been wanting to write about the day my mom passed away (April 25th), so here it goes.

That Wednesday morning, I was called into work early, which was a Godsend.

During my shift, I taught a class, and at the end of the class, I read the poem I’d written a few days before. Afterward, I cried, and fifteen minutes later, my mom ended up dying, yet I didn’t know about it then.

A couple hours later, I received the call from my aunt. All I remember was her saying my mom had died a couple hours earlier. Instantly, I felt my heart drain and began to cry.

As I got off the phone, I wondered if I could handle completing my shift, but as I walked into the office to tell my boss, I KNEW I had to leave. ALL I wanted to do was go home and cry.

Right away, all the girls around me knew what had happened, and as I made my way to the door to leave, everyone lined up to hug me, even the maids, and every hug I received was one I needed so deeply. At times, I felt myself falling deeper into their arms.

One girl walked me out, and as we hugged again, she asked, “Are you okay to drive?” I told her, “Yeah, I’ll stop and get a soda.” We both laughed, but then, as I cried even harder, I leaned against the post and asked God to help me.

A mile down the road, I stopped for that soda and wanted something cherry, but wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t have anything cherry, so I cried a little harder and left.

I sent Carolyn a text, asking if I could pull her out of school. She said yes, so all I had between us was an hour drive. (sigh)

On the way, I was never alone. Of course, God was with me, but also, I stayed on the phone with someone, almost the whole way.

When I picked up Carolyn, immediately, she had me laughing. At times, the laughter turned into tears or the tears turned into laughter. She was so confused: she didn’t know if I was laughing or crying! We headed to Panda Express to order our takeout.

At home, we watched Netflix and ate (and I cried). It was perfect, but later in the night, I told her how I REALLY wanted something cherry, so we went to the store.

As we walked passed the liquor aisle, I said, “We’re so lucky I don’t drink anymore!” I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if I did.

Anyway, at the end of the night, when exhaustion set in and the tears stopped flowing, we went to sleep.

I’m sure we all walk through grief differently. This was just a look into mine.

“The Next Generation”

[Written April 22, 2018, the Sunday before my mom died]

Every person in your life
is a teacher
They either show you who you want to be
or show you who you don’t

And every situation
has the same effect

Death
has the same effect

As I go through this painful trail
of losing my mother
I find more of myself

Instead of grieving what I missed
as a daughter
I’m strengthened to pour out
as a mother

Instead of regretting what’s been lost
in the past
I’m hoping for what I’ll create
in the future

The past will forever be behind me
as the future will always be in front of me
And it’s up to me to choose
the direction in which I walk

As I go through this painful trail
of losing my mother
I find more of the me I choose to be