My mom used to tease me because I always wrote "Moma", which I guess isn't quite right, but I never changed it. Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of her death and I miss her as much today as I did all those years ago. I was blessed to have an amazing relationship with my mom. Oh, certainly there were horrible fights, especially during the teen years, but truly she was my dearest friend. She was a"cool" mom in the neighborhood and it was not unusual for there to be a herd of kids hanging at my house. I swear half the time they were there to see her rather than Karen or I. She loved everyone and people were just comfortable with her. I know many of my friends sought her counsel when they had a problem rather than their own parents. I was proud of her. I wonder if I ever told her that.
She was beautiful, too. We spent hours together playing with make up and fixing our hair. She taught me to wash my face and moisturize every morning and night and I am so grateful for that simple advice today! She taught me to be proud of my appearance and that when you took time to look your best, you were more confident. I appreciate that. She was stubborn as a mule (as was my dad so I come by it naturally) and if she felt strongly about something, she would never give up fighting for it.
Moma liked to have fun, too. She loved to dance and we would often move the furniture around in our den to make room for our own personal dance parties. She loved people and taught me that no matter where folks came from or what their background may be, everyone was worthy of love. She practiced what she preached, too, by becoming a foster parent. She was a tough parent, but I guarantee you she loved every single child that came through her home in the foster program. Several stayed in touch with her until her death. That meant so much to her and also to me.
She had strong faith in God. Even after the darkest tragedy a parent can suffer, the loss of a child, her faith stayed strong. I guess it was the thing that allowed her to go on living and to actually find joy beyond my sisters death. She had a capacity to forgive that I've rarely seen in others, certainly not in myself.
Mom moved to Michigan shortly after my sisters death. I realized that she needed a change in her life to help her cope and while I was sad to see her move, I supported it. I am blessed, however that she chose to move to Nashville and lived near me for the rest of her life. We talked every day. She was my closest confidant, my greatest cheerleader and I loved her so very, very much. She died much too young at the age of 64. Rarely a day goes by since her passing that I don't think of her. Today, on the anniversary of her death, I am trying my best to take comfort in my many great memories of her and times we had together. Yes, I've shed a few tears today and will probably shed a few more before days end, but many are tears of joy that I was blessed with a wonderful mother who I know loved me with every ounce of her being.
Miss you Loleta, today and every day.