Her skin is like cornbread., her eyes pure amber, her smile brighter than grandma before she laid to rest. She is layers and layers of truth before I learned to speak it, her hands full of healing magic. Her hair tied with black peals and stars. She is my mother and cancer has taken her away. I think of her everyday in moments of laughter between tears and decisions that should never be carried alone. On Sunday’s I look at her old pictures attempting to piece together who she was before she became my mother. I talk to her in words, sounds, songs and phrases that only she would understand. I want to tell her everything , make her proud of the woman I am struggling to become. I want to give her every treasure she left behind. I believe she‘s listening, watching, waiting. Mama, I wish you ponytails and butterfly barrettes, shiny new shoes and training wheels and freedom. I wish you hammocks, sunflowers, kisses and laughter always . I wish you skinned knees, band-aids and coco butter sticks. I wish you peaceful days, your mama and daddy hugging you so hard all you can do is smile. I wish your grandchildren’s laughter, moonlight, perfect angels and stars so brave they shine at sunrise. I wish you dreams of everything you ever wanted to be and the belief and power to be it! I wish you bean pies, fried chicken, lemongrass, candles, Easter dresses and short sermons. I wish you prom queen, best hair and love that never breaks your heart. I wish you rivers, strawberries, lemonade, cookouts and Motown. I wish you healthily babies, mother’s day and flowers just because and cards that always make you cry. I wish you healthy, brave, flowers upon your stitches, sea shells around your waist. I wish Beautiful as your first name. I wish you all that you have given me for death does not kill us memory does. I shall carry your words mama, always love heals everything. Period. This I no longer struggle to believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.