Happy Birthday, Mommy.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 52nd birthday. A year and a half ago, she lost her battle with a very nasty neurodegenerative disease

My driving force for as long as I can remember has been to make my family proud, particularly my mother. I admired her for reasons that are too numerous to list, but what I most appreciated about her was that she was who she said she was. She was truly a walking sermon, and her daily actions were her testimony.  She motivated me and made me believe in myself.   

Despite all of the confidence she instilled in me, I was still a bit hesitant when she made me promise her that I would start this blog. We were sitting at the kitchen table 5 days before she died discussing what she wanted me to do about her funeral arrangements and personal affairs when she looked at me and said, “Brittany, you have to write. You have to share your experiences. You have to share the goodness that I raised in you. You’re good girl, don’t you bury treasures that only make you richer if you share them.  And Brittany, make sure they know that I was pretty, and I ain’t just talking about how  good I look.”

I am not sure why she was so adamant about me starting a blog. Perhaps it was because I was special in her eyes, something I will forever miss being. Perhaps she knew I’d need an outlet once her listening ear was gone…

Whatever the reason, I honor her wish today by sharing a few of things I still hear her voice in my head saying almost every day (Read: She said “shit” a lot so don’t read this in the church parking lot).

1.“Brittany, spaceships that make it to their destination safely don’t arrive the same way they left. The higher they go, the more shit that starts to fall off. The pieces that cannot handle higher altitudes and pressures fall off. Thank God for that.”

Lesson: In the process of life, you will lose people. That is not a bad thing, but a sign of moving closer to what is intended for you. Since her death I have learned to appreciate the lightness that comes after certain pieces fall off, and the safety I have found in those helping to keep me together.

2.“Brittany, what other people eat doesn’t make you shit. Keep your eyes on your own plate.”

Lesson: Mind your business and take accountability for your own circumstances and outcomes. Since her death, I have been focusing on minding my own business and drinking more water. Needless to say, life is much more peaceful.

3.“Brittany, you choose to season your food with sh*t, and then get mad when it doesn’t taste like it was marinated in Sazon.”

Lesson: Don’t spew out negative thoughts and words and expect positive returns. So often, we complain about things that we asked for. We tear down the people with whom we have chosen/agreed to be in relationships with. We complain about going to jobs that we applied for.  We complain about studying for grad programs that we are PAYING FOR. Since my mother’s death, I’ve learned to be thankful for the challenges that come along with the things I once prayed for. Life tastes better when seasoned with gratitude.

The day she sat me down to tell me what she wanted, I asked her “what I am supposed to do with all this pain?” She looked at me and said, “figure out a way to turn it into to love and give it away.” I figured there was no better way to honor her birthday than to do just that. I spent yesterday, her actual birthday, having my gallbladder removed so I wasn’t able to share this like I wanted to, but today, I hope she’s proud. And I hope you all can tell just how pretty she was… inside and out. So thankful for my ever-present angel and all that she taught me. Happy birthday, Mommy!

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