Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 3 - My parents

I was born to.....

Starting the post like that seem so......boring and predictable. Unfortunately, I am at a lost of words on a creative way of starting it. So......here goes.....

Like many people, I have lost one of my parents. My dad passed away when I was a sophomore in college. That particular semester was very hard for me. Literally, every month in that semester both of my parents spent time in the hospital. I even contemplating leaving school and losing my scholarship just to go home to help. My mother was not having it! When I talked to my aunt about what I was planning to do, she told me that she had that conversation with my mother already. They had made contingency plans which did not include me leaving school. Both of them guilt trip me into staying. I am glad they did!

According to my mom, I was a Daddy's girl when I was really little. (My sister right after me took that role right from me.) I remember my mom telling me when I was a teenager when she wanted a "Me Day", she would start an argument with my dad. He would leave with me in tow. We were out the whole day! I love those days. We would visit so many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I came from a large family, so it was not hard to be gone all day.

As I got a little older, we would go on long bike rides. I was on my ten speed and he was on his supped up one. My dad rigged his to have a radio and a make shift padding section on the back of it. On the bar, he had several towels wrapped around it. Both served as "seats" for my sister, Psycho, so she had options when we went riding.  Literally, we were gone for at least four hours. We did not ride continuously, but we were all over the place visiting people, stopping at parks, the aquarium, and Lake Erie. When I go home, it is not unusual for me to drive by some of our old spots. I have taken Baby-Bandit pass some of the spots. I have even shared sitting at the lake with him and a few friends watching the sunset one time.

I remember my dad waking me up in the wee hours of the morning. He had just came in from a party. Apparently, he had grabbed a plate out of the drain that was not clean to his satisfaction. We (meaning he) had many conversations about washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. So this particular night (early morning), he pulled out every dish in alllllllll the cabinets and made me wash all of them over again. I am talking about EVERY DISH  in the whole house. To add insult to injury, he stayed in the kitchen and talked to me the whole time. Just say I tuned dude out! All I wanted to do was yell, "WILL YOU SHUT UP! CAN YOU JUST GO BACK TO WHEREVER YOU JUST CAME IN FROM". But since I value my life, all that plus more were said all in my head!

When I think about my dad, I think about the conversations we had throughout the years. At random times, our conversations or time spent pops up in my head and put a smile on my face.

Fortunately for me, my mom is still here. I really wished she would move to my city. I almost had her here a few years ago, but life situations has changed her mind. I understand, even though I don't like it (as I pout every time I think about it).

My mom reminds me of my grandmother so much. I don't think I have told her how much I love and admire her for the love and sacrifice she has made over the years for us. When I was in the third grade, my mom was working at my aunt's cleaners. With three children, she knew she needed more income to raise us. She decided to return to school and earn a nursing degree. Even though the hours were long and she had 3 daughters to provide for while in school, she did it. At the time I did not realize the lesson she was showing me through her actions. But like they say, you will understand when you get older. Now as a mother, I understand how one give up their time, money, sleep, and everything else for what you think is best for your child.

The following year, my mom enrolled me into Catholic school. The public school was in the midst of a strike and I was scheduled to attend school on the other side of town. She did not think that was the best option for me; therefore, she made the necessary adjustments to pay for Catholic school. I remained in Catholic school until the middle of my tenth grade year. Then my mother finally left my father and moved us to the suburbs to a much better school system. By that time all 3 girls were in private school. So pulling us out was necessary to make ends meet. Our education did not suffer. In fact, I believe the curriculum were just a bit harder at the public school.

On a personal level, my mother never bad mouthed my dad to me. Even though I know what went down, she could have played the bitter Black woman role and dogged my day out to us. But she did not. She allowed us to come up with our own opinions of our dad. Now we know this is hard for anyone who were done wrong. Again this was another lesson I learned by example. I never talk negatively about my son's father to him or in his earshot. It is important to me to give him full access and allow them to develop their own relationship.

Even though my mother is not the oldest daughter in the family, I feel she has taken the matriarch role since my grandmother passing. About 5 years ago, she started having the Thanksgiving dinner at her home the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The dinner is huge! Up to 100 people have been to Thanksgiving dinner. It is my mom's siblings, children and grandchildren, her five children and families, her 1st cousins and their children and grandchildren and other "family" members such as our closest friends. Mom does all the cooking. She really does not want any helping because it is her way to show her love to her family. Here is a picture of just the desserts from this year's dinner.

With four daughters, you best believe there were many arguments. Mom is very good with letting us fight it out until it get out of hand. Then she steps in. Mom is real laid back until you hit that point. Got to love her for that!

I could go on but I have been working on this forever trying to give you a complete picture and realize it will never happen. My girl Oldgirl LadyLee has done many posts about my mom. I will leave some of the links. Lee always have a way to capture an experience!

New Year's 2010
Mama Bandit - Atlanta cookout

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