Sunday, March 27, 2005
I have spent a great amount of time talking about my father, dissecting every aspect of our relationship and how that has turned me into the man that I am today. Reading over those posts I feel that possibly I am a bit too harsh on the guy, he had the ability to be a wonderful man. But then when I curse somebody out I realize that I am an asshole, and his constant ridicule has made me a pretty defensive man. I definitely have issues that need to be worked out. My mom on the other hand is definitely a gift from god, the only person that stood behind me when others refused. She is a genuine piece of work, as you will find out in a few moments. She's the only person that I would gladly give my life for, no doubt about that. Here are some examples of why I love my mother so much.
Queer Eye for the Black guy: My mother is the only person that didn't know my cousin Sean was gay. As if the playing with dolls and his pound puppy obsession as a kid wasn't a dead giveaway. When Sean came out of the closet and visited Virginia, my mom had a chance to be around Sean. Soon after I talked to her and she said the following: "Oh yeah, that boy is gay. He is gayer than Leroy from Fame" What the Fuck?
Calling me Out: My mother had learned that I had beat the shit out of the son of one of her friends. When she asked me what happened we were walking through a mall. I told her that he was getting mouthy and he had to learn a lesson. She asked me "you couldn't just ignore him and walk away?" I guess my response wasn't good enough because she gently grabbed random shoppers and said, "Hi! My son's an Asshole!"
Cursing like a Sailor: Like my father, my mother also has mastered the wonderful art of the expletive. In short, she curses like a longshoreman. That's probably why curse words come out of my mouth so freely, from years of my parents finding different ways to incorporate the word "fuck" in a conversation. The other day my mother and I were talking about Bush and at the end of the conversation she said, "that guy's a fucking asshole". My sentiments exactly. See, cursing can be used for good and not evil.
Grandma's Funeral: I Remember being at my grandmother's funeral and we were all hysterical. Me, my cousins, everyone I recall were balling their eyes out. I turned to my mother and she hadn't shed a tear, she is looking off in the distance as she smoked a cigarette. Here we are burying her mother and she is the epitome of strength, knowing that she has to hold the family down. Of course nothing is wrong with crying, and I'm sure she shed tears when she was alone, but the image is still burned in my memory forever of her looking like the strong black woman she is.
In the face of Loss: I was with her the exact moment my father died. I stated before that I hadn't visited my father as much as I should have at the end because I was trying to avoid any "You Ain't shit" death bed rants. I decided to visit him on that fateful day, and soon after I arrived he passed away. I remember walking with my mother to a waiting room in the hospital as I hugged her, her head resting ever so gently on my chest. Even losing her husband it seemed that she was consoling me, not the other way around. She kept saying, "Goddamn you Jim! God Damn you!!" I never asked her what she meant about that, but I think it had something to do with my father not taking proper care of himself. Or maybe she was expressing anger at him for leaving her. She told me to go home and that she would be alright. As I left her, and her 5'2 frame get further and further away I realize that my mother is stronger than I will ever be.
Chemo and Conversations: When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer I took her to her doctor appointments, which were like everyday. She has this life threatening disease and she was so upbeat, damn near defiant. The Chemo, the surgeries, she always maintained a sense of humor and undeniable strength. Me and my mother have a great relationship, but hanging with her every day I learned a great deal more. The conversations we would have during the long drives to Portsmouth general Hospital included Politics, Music, and in her words "a time when my son will be less of an bastard". Love ya mom.
Knowledge and Wisdom
Amen Sister: I was in the hospital one day that I just knew my dad was going to die. I call my then girlfriend and tell her that she should come to the hospital immediately. Her stinking ass gave me every excuse why she couldn't make it, talk about support. My mother, hearing the phone discussion said the following: "Critic, if her ass lacks the compassion to visit her boyfriend's dying father then you don't need to be with her ass". Amen
Silenced by a Giggle: My mother has unfortunately been witness to my temper against others. My cousin and I had got into it to the point that we were almost at blows. It was a while ago but I was still old enough to know better. I grabbed him by the throat and said some dumb shit like "Motherfucker, I will paralyze you". My mother, who just heard what I said giggled. By simply giggling she left me powerless. Powerless because she was showing me what kind of prick I was being. Mother's have that Jedi-like power sometimes.
Back in the Day: My mother has a wonderful talent for telling stories, especially about musicians she met back in her day. See, her uncle(my great uncle) was a trumpet player in Count Basie's band. He was a respected musician, and my mother would tell me stories of meeting Count Basie and various stars of the 50's and 60's that would see them play. She should write a book, I swear. (Sidenote: In the "Autobiography of Malcolm X", Malcolm talks about the years that he was a hustler and the jazz musicians that he would sell weed to. He actually names my great uncle as one of those musicians. His name was Joe Newman. )
But seriously, my mother is everything to me and I just hope she knows how much I love her. She was the only person that defended me when my father released his verbal onslaught upon me. I sincerely think that her love and compassion is the only reason that I'm not a complete psychopath, smacking the shit out of random black republicans.(I only smack the shit out of black republicans when provoked.) I am so glad that I have her as a mother.