Happy Mother’s Day, is usually what they say, on this day. But when moms are gone they say something a little different. Roses are beautiful flowers but they still have thorns. Moms do the best they can. They give birth to the world and they nurture the little ones until it time for them to fly.
I came in from Philadelphia PA., one sister drove from Louisiana with her family and my oldest sister flew in from California along with my older brother and his wife. We had all come to make sure mom got situated in the nursing home in Detroit MI. We sat in the dinning area while they got her ready to meet us. I’m glad it was a nice sunny day in the summertime.
To me she will always be the country girl from Mississippi who had so many kids she barely knew what to do. I’m the ninth of 14. We were never all raised together at one time, but we all came from the same womb. However, I was my father’s only son.
Mom had it rough growing up, but she always tried to keep it light. She called the bus the ‘Iron Pimp’. It didn’t arrive on schedule, but it always came just in time. At the age of 90 she passed on to glory, and because I blogged, I get to tell her story.
Her mother died when she was only eight, and she only knew of her father. She was raised by her Aunt and Uncle who didn’t treat her right so she got married at a young age and started having babies to get away from them.
Her husband started to beat her and when he said he would kill her, she believed him, and left in the middle of the night, to travel North. Any young mother would be sad if she had to leave her five kids in the middle of the night, but it was basic survival that made her do what she did.
She went to Chicago IL but then settled in Detroit MI because she felt safer. She never got married but kept having babies. I grew up basically with a younger brother and one sister. I learned about the others, over time. When I was nine she got sick and we were sent to live with our separate fathers. I didn’t know it at the time but she must have been pregnant.
Her and my dad decided to let me stay with him. It was a wake up call for me. She would buy me stuff to shut me up, and he wouldn’t, to toughen me up. He was a WW II veteran and knew about discipline. It was a good turning point for me.
When pop got me a good bike, I would ride to wherever my mom had moved to, in the city. I knew I could always get a good hot meal and a warm hug. And even to this day, my best friend could tell you what she would always say, “Be safe and don’t get in no trouble.”
I spent nine years with mom and the next nine years with pop but I always stayed in touch with mom, once I got my wheels. She always wished she had done better, but pop made sure I did better, because I was forced to study and stay out of trouble.
As a result three things happened; I stayed out of trouble, I worked in the factory during my last year of high school and I still graduated on time.
At her funeral I learned the rest of her story. The father she never really knew, was a Native American who kept track of all his off spring during his life-time and when my mom was born in 1919 she was the last of HIS 33 kids. Now I know how she could take the bus to work in the Detroit cold until her mid-eighties.
I dedicated my book to her : “Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!!” which is only available through Blurb Publishing. I know she must be smiling in heaven because I’m passing down her story. I didn’t earn Air Force ‘wings’ but I earned my Sergeant Stripes and wore Army Bars.