This I Believe

Beatrice - Atlanta, Georgia
Entered on March 18, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family
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You and Me, All the Way!

You and me, all the way! These are the words that my mother and I would say to each other when I was a child. I was maybe three years old when I learned them. It was our mantra. It was our way of letting each other know that through it all, whatever it was, we would get through, all the way. Well, this is how it goes, one of us, my mother or myself would say the first half, “You and me,” and the other would complete it by saying, “All the way!” As a child of only three I knew she and I would always be together. My mother and I were best friends. When no one else was in our corner we were there. And that was all we felt we needed, “You and me, all the way!” I instinctively knew who the ‘you and me’ of the equation was yet I never questioned the ‘all the way’ portion. Asking my mother, “All the way where momma?” I somehow knew that the ’all the way’ was wherever life would take us, together. And that was just fine with me.

For me ‘all the way’ meant anywhere we are together, always enjoying each others company and loving each other no mater what life throws at us. Some of the places we lived, I believe would have destroyed some and devastated others but for my mother and I. It somehow made us stronger and we just kept going. From age three to thirty-six the ‘all the way’ has taken me many places. I have never lived in a housing project yet as a child I lived in several hotels making straight A’s in school and spending quality and quantity time with my mother, as a young adult in my early to mid-twenties while working for the United States government I lived in a climate controlled storage facility for almost a year and lived in a car for four and a half years and my mother was there beside me ‘all the way’. The latter of these years my mother and I call our houseless not homeless years.

The ‘you and me, all the way’ mantra is ingrained in my heart and in my soul. I have learned perseverance, true grit, how to make lemonade out of stones, and how having someone who believe in you makes all the difference in the world; sometimes the difference between life and death.

My mother and I are still together. Living in a spacious two bedroom/two bath apartment but my mother is now disabled and is having a very tough time coping with her many illnesses yet she worries about me. How she thinks she has ruined my life. I ask her, “how could you think a thing like that, when I have my best friend with me all the time. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.” Then I add, “Mom, stop worrying, because ‘it’s you and me.” She smiles at me with her warm loving eyes and says, “All the way!”