I just looked at the clock, its 2:30am on a Monday morning and I’m awake for no apparent reason, but there’s so many things swirling around in my mind. I turn over and watch my mother seeming to be having a peaceful night’s rest. Yes, I am admitting to the world that I’m 36 years old and for the last two years I haven’t slept in my own bedroom. If you all knew and really understood what my mother has endured during the last two years then you wouldn’t judge me because I’m a grown-up who sleeps in the bed with her mother. Momma had two life altering surgeries back to back, one in 2016 then again in 2017. She is the only parent I have living in this world and right now I just feel the need to be close to her as much as possible without figuratively smothering her, especially at night because she suffers with Rheumatoid Arthritis so night time is the worst time for her. I have always thought very highly of my mother, I mean this is the woman whose womb God chose to send me into this world through, the woman who endured nine months of allowing me to develop inside her, the woman who underwent a Caesarean section so that I could have life in this world. Those things alone are reasons to think highly of my mother, but they aren’t my only reasons. My mother is one of the strongest people I know and she reminds me of that every day just living her life, she is constantly pushing through her pain and getting every job that needs to be accomplished in a day’s time completed. I am always telling her “Momma, just sit down, you’re always trying to do too much in twenty-four hours.
Nearly twenty years ago, on a Wednesday evening in the month of March, life drastically changed for my mother when she became a widow after 31 years of marriage. My daddy’s death has taken its toll on everyone who truly loved him. You see, if you knew my daddy you just couldn’t stop yourself from loving him, he was just that type of person, a real people person. My daddy was the light in our lives and on that Wednesday evening in March nearly twenty years ago that light dimmed to almost darkness for a long while. I always think about daddy’s death from my own perspective but this morning I am looking at my mother asleep and thinking about what indescribable pain she must of felt and may still feel. My mother and father were perfect examples for the definition of soulmates, they were each other’s right hand for 31+ years and suddenly she was left alone. She was forced to figure it all out by herself. She was suddenly placed in a position where she had to take care of everything in life alone, including raising a sixteen year old daughter with some unique medical needs and an eleven year old son who really needed something she couldn’t be, a father. That’s an extremely heavy load to suddenly be placed on one woman’s back, but my extraordinary mother has managed to make it through.
I think my momma tried to hide parts of her grief and sadness from my brother and I for a while after Daddy died but she didn’t succeed in that. I’m not sure if she knows that I know but my mother’s “secret” crying and praying place was her bathroom in the shower. I can’t tell you how many times I have been laying in my bed upstairs and I could hear my mother downstairs in the shower crying and praying. I have often felt like Luther Vandross sings in his song Dance With My Father, “I’d pray for her even more than me, I know I’m praying for much too much. But could you send back the only man she loved, I know you don’t do it usually, but Dear Lord, she’s dying to dance with my father again.” I know its beyond crazy but I’ve often wished that death wasn’t permanent and that Daddy could come back with no heart disease or any of the other health problems he had simply to continue living life alongside Momma.
Fourteen years after daddy died on the last day of her career as a teacher Momma had an appointment with a cardiologist and was diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve disease and told that she would eventually need to have surgery. Just to give you a little information about bicuspid aortic valve disease, it is a form of heart disease in which two of the leaflets of the aortic valve fuse during development in the womb resulting in a two leaflet valve instead of the normal three leaflet valve. It’s a condition that people can live well into their sixties or seventies without knowing they have it, because symptoms don’t start to show until one is in that age group.
Luckily it wasn’t until three years after her diagnosis in March 2016 that she would have to have open heart valve replacement surgery. The day of Momma’s heart surgery was definitely one of the most nerve racking days of my life, especially during the few hours that she was in the operating room. The night before I don’t think I slept at all, it was one of those times where God probably got tired of hearing from me because I was praying so much. When I think about it now I realize it was one of those times in my life when my faith in God was seriously lacking because I had prepared myself for something bad to happen. As I set in the waiting room, all that was on my mind was, my mother, the one person I have in my life who has loved me through everything, is laying on an operating table with her chest cut open and doctors working on her most vital organ, anything could have gone wrong. On that day I was “prayed up” and in those moments in the waiting room I felt like I could handle a bad outcome but thinking upon it now I know no matter how much I had prayed about it, I would not have been able to handle a bad outcome. I’ve been thanking God everyday since because Momma’s heart surgery was successful. Her road to recovery was difficult but thank God, she made it, those of you reading this who know my mother know she surely doesn’t look like what she’s been through.
A little over a year later, Momma decided to have the back surgery that she had been needing but kept putting off since sustaining a back injury in a car accident in the early 1990s. In all honesty, my nervousness wasn’t at the maximum level about this surgery like it was during her heart surgery. The time I had to spend waiting to hear the outcome wasn’t as excruciating as the last time, I guess maybe my faith was renewed and I just felt like Momma was going to be alright. Once again it was a successful surgery, but the road to recovery this time was even more difficult than it was after her heart surgery. Seeing my mother in all the pain that she had to endure was very difficult, but like I said before my mother is one of the strongest people I know and this was just one more time that she made it through a painful moment in her life, because persevering through pain is something that my mother is a pro at. She may shed some tears, but she is a tough woman who always finds a way to jump over the obstacles that life throws in front of her.
Watching my mother make it through the two major surgeries she has had recently and just being her daughter who gets to witness her journey through this life everyday has made me more grateful for her than I think I have ever been. I value her place in my life and I thank God for choosing her to give me life. We have a bond that will always be unbreakable regardless of what other people’s thoughts are of our bond.
If you have a good mother who goes above and beyond the call of duty for you like mine does for me and my brother, although we’re both well over 21, please give her praises while she can still hear them, because life is so extremely short. I thank God for every moment that he allows me to express the love I have for my mother.
That’s just my perspective!💜