TYOFWM (the year of firsts without Momma)
There's a part of me that still can't understand why she's not here with me.
I really miss my Momma.
I had her for 51 birthdays.
Always a card, always a call, always a memory from a particular birthday.
Momma liked to tell me how I always was pictured with a band-aid
or a fresh bruise on my forehead because I couldn't wait to run under
the piñata and grab the candy.
For some reason, this morning I keep going back to the memory
of turning 16 and how she came in my room just before 6:30 a.m.
to give me my birthday card and gift before she left for work.
She playfully woke me up giving me 16 smacks on the butt
and presenting me with a card, some cash, and a gift of a small travel bag.
She came in early because I was going on a planned hike with
the church youth group I was a part of and wouldn't be back until
later in the afternoon. She didn't want to miss saying
"Happy Birthday" to me that day. My sweet 16th.
That small travel bag was for a trip to a church camp on Catalina
happening a little later in the summer.
Like I've said before, Momma and I had a tumultuous relationship
as I entered into my teens and started to try to become more independent.
And, as it was, we weren't a family that was particularly affectionate.
So, I often didn't know if my Mom even loved me or not.
It's just not something that was ever expressed.
Later that summer, at Campus by the Sea on Catalina, during a special
prayer ceremony near the end of camp, I was given a letter written by her.
All the parents had been asked to write a letter to their kids to be shared
with them at that time.
Even now, tears are streaming down my face remembering that letter.
For the first time, my Mom shared her hopes and dreams,
and, more importantly, her love for me.
All those things that I really needed to hear.
Suddenly, she wasn't quite the enemy I had thought her to be,
but the single mom that had unselfishly worked so hard to make
sure I realized all the dreams she had for me.
I can't say it was an emotional reunion at the end of that week when I got home.
Today it would be the equivalent of walking in the door
and just nodding and saying, "'sup?"
But something changed that year for the better in our relationship.
And, eventually, we could hug and say "I love you."
Which I wish more than anything I could do again today.
Thank you, Momma.
I know somewhere out there you're wishing me a
This song is for her: