When I 6 months and my brother was 18 months, sole custody of my brother and I was given to my father. For most of my childhood I resented my mom for not “fighting” for us. I can remember having an empty feeling whenever teachers or other moms would make a references like “ make sure you tell your mom” or “did you ask your mother”. I remember the dread of having to explain that I lived with my dad, and there was no “woman” in our house.
She passed away suddenly from an asthma attack never reaching the age I am now. But as I think back over my life I realize, somehow she rarely missed a milestone in my life. My birthdays, graduations, and even the birth of my first son. It was like she had an internal connection to me.
As Mothers Day approaches I can’t help but think of how much I wish I could talk to her and reconcile my feelings with her. So, this post is dedicated to my beautiful mother Ilona Michele Johnson. If she were here I’d tell her:
Firstly, I forgive you for your absence. Because in your absence I was able to create a beautiful fantasy of womanhood. Not having you there to show me, gave me the chance to pull the best attributes from every woman I saw and encountered. It made me fascinated with hair and clothes, and all thing womanly.
Secondly, I forgive you for not having your love. Because I never knew that you loved me, it makes me shower my children and grandchildren with love. With out question they know I love them. I have been a mom longer than I’ve been anything else in my life, and I intentionally give them affection.
Lastly I forgive you for your illness. I now know why you were different than other moms. I know why you had difficulty dealing with the everyday trials of life. I know you didn’t choose to be ill, but being aware of your illness makes me consciousness of my mental state.
There are so many things that I’d love to say to her, but all in all I’d thank her for giving me life. I’d thank her for my name, because the uniqueness made me stand out. I’d thank her for exposing me to my culture through her Pan-Africanism. I’d thank her for giving me a sense of self worth from an early age. I’d thank her for creating me through her direct and indirect actions. I’d let her know, everything I am I owe to her. With this I would give her a kiss and tell her I love her.
Happy Mother Day in Heaven Mom