Today is my mommy’s birthday. I must admit that I’ve never called her mommy. Usually, I call her “Ma” when I am calling her to come down the hall to turn off my light (just kidding) or “Rose” when I’m trying to get my point across and let her know who is the boss (I am in case ya’ll were wondering who runs the show). LOL

Today as I celebrate her life, I am grateful that she is here, healthy, and hopeful. I am grateful to have time. Time to learn together and grow together in the good and trying times. When it seems like so many people, young and not so young are leaving this realm of life, I do not take time for granted her little idiosyncrasies that I’ve grown accustomed to, such as:

The fact that she STILL wants me to call her when I get home from a late night at work (mind you, I’m grown) or if she hasn’t heard from me in a few days because I am swamped with deadlines, she will send a message asking to hear my voice (it sounds the same). Or if she knows I have an event coming up, she will specifically request that I send her pictures of myself at the event and she will comment on my outfit, hair, etc. as she usually does (I look the same).  In my teenage years, all of these things were aggravating, but I’ve grown accustomed to her checking in and when she doesn’t I send her a message like, “Hello. I am your daughter. I could have been dead. You would not know. Because you ain’t call me.” (Yeah, I’m that dramatic kid).

When I recently experienced an unexpected loss, unbeknownst to her, she was on the phone before and after doing her usual check-in. While giving her the basic details she listened intently and said, “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” I replied with a steady voice and eyes brimming with tears…hoping that the surety in my voice and the quickness of my response would assure her miles away that I was okay, even when I did not feel that way.

“No, you’re not,” she said. She didn’t explain to me why or how she knew. She didn’t offer words of encouragement. She didn’t ask me to talk about my feelings or ask more details. She didn’t tell me I shouldn’t feel that way. She didn’t try to interject logic into my emotions. She just sat on the phone. Quiet.

And I knew that she felt my pain. And disappointment. And sadness.

And I knew that if she could somehow remove any of those feelings, she would.

After our time on the phone, she sent me a few text messages. Messages of things that she has told me before.

Ones that encouraged me. Ones that reminded me that she is proud of me. That she admires my work ethic and organization. That she is in awe of my determination and follow-through. Ones that let me know that she was here and that all was not lost. And that God would see me through. For that, I am grateful.

In happy times or times that seem to knock the wind out of my sails, she is there. In silence. Or with words. With a phone call or with a text. In person with a hug or across the ocean with facetime (can’t tell her nothing now), she’s there. And I hope that this birthday brings with it a kind of peace that cannot be explained, prosperity that is not limited to money, and joy that bubbles up from her soul. I wish her laughter, love and answers to prayers that reside in her heart and may have never been voiced.

She’ll keep getting those text messages when I get in late, phone calls to hear my voice , and photos at events, because I love her and like Smokey said about Craig, “That’s my dawg!”

Happy Birthday, Rose 🙂

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