Mother's Day

15 (or so) years ago, my mother wrote a beautiful poem dedicated to her mom, on Mother's Day. Just a year or so ago, my mother told me a story...
15 years ago, my mom worked at a factory that makes snack cakes. On a whim, she made plans to go home to visit her mother. This involved taking time off from work. Her supervisor guaranteed that she could have the days off she requested.

Unexpectedly, there were some layoffs at the factory and they needed someone to fill in shifts at the last minute. My mom's supervisor rescinded her authorization to be off, and my mother had to cancel her trip home just hours before she planned to leave.

That weekend, my grandmother went to sleep and didn't wake up. Had my mom been there when she was supposed to, she would've been there when it happened.
When my mom told me this story I could only imagine how upset that must've made my mom. My mother is the youngest of 14 children, and so you can imagine what her relationship with her mother must've been like.

My mother and I have not always been close, really. I think we're learning to accept our relationship for what it is, and not always be upset with what it's not. We've also grown a lot since I moved so far away from home. I remember that story because it reminds me that my mom won't always be here. She's in EXCELLENT shape for her age (she's not old, at all, but know she could easily pass for someone 20 yrs her junior -- I hope some of that is genetic, but I'm thinking I didn't get those genes...) but there will come a point where she's not here. I have to be honest and say that for the most part, I ignore that factoid like the plague, but I know it.

This morning, I read this at Jack and Jill Politics:
Mothers are iconic in African-American culture because it ain’t easy being a black women trying to get an education (if you can), hold down a job and raise up some lil kids in this culture. The deck is stacked against black moms, statistically speaking, and yet most black people can tell you at least one story with tears in their eyes about their momma makin’ a way outta no way. Sacrificing, scrimping, saving — performing miracles on a regular basis, all too often on their own. Being the child of a black mother in America gives you a front row seat to some of the worst discrimination America has to offer a segment of her citizens. Black moms are stereotyped as lazy welfare queens yet work harder for longer for less money than most. Today is the day African-Americans come together to appreciate those whom society mostly under-appreciates.
And again, I'm reminded of why I love my mother so much and why even when she's getting on my LAST good nerve, I do my best (though I fail sometimes) to take it all in.

I lucked out with my mom -- as I'm sure a lot of you feel about yours...

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