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Who She Was (Is Who She Is) December 7, 2020

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Uncategorized.
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“A single life touches many hearts…. this reflective space is here for sharing thoughts of a loved one and record memories of a life that will be forever remembered.”

– quoted from I Am Her: She Writes Her Story, Day by Day. And Every Word is True. By M. H. Clark

December 7th always sticks in my head for two reasons. First, in 1941, it became what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called “a date which will live in infamy” – and the events of that day will come be the focus of a second blog post and this evening’s class. A few years later, this became my mother’s birth date. As many of you know, my mother did not make it to today, her 73rd birthday. During her funeral, my brother eulogized her and asked that his dear friend, Pastor Johnson, complete the eulogy. It was seamless and, well… they said I could share their eloquence.


“Profound, inspirational, and touched my heart.

Now, when anybody asks how Bert did, you can say, ‘What he said at the beginning was profound, inspirational, and touched my heart.’

When I was about 3, I jumped in the driver’s seat of the family car and found the only car in the cul-de-sac and hit it. So, from the beginning, I was a handful. My mother always used to talk about how I sat in an ant mound and let the ants bite me. So, at a young age, everyone could tell I was a little off.

Some would say I was the black sheep of the family. You hear all the time, a mother’s love is unconditional; but, I can say firsthand, I tested that theory over and over again.

Ahma, the name Eric gave her, would always get upset with me and say, “OK Bert, you’re always right.” And I would say, “You always told me I could do anything I wanted to be so I decided I would be right all the time.”

I would love to say we saw eye-to-eye all the time, but that wouldn’t be true. But, I can honestly say I grew up privileged. So much so that in high school they called Ahma and Hey ‘The Huxtables.’

Y’all remember back in the day you had to be home when the street lights came on. II had ignored that rule several times and I was in a crowd of kids, and we say a silhouette coming up the street with what looked like a long snake in her hand. But it wasn’t a snake. It was a nicely sized belt for me.

And the time my ‘big’ brother – I only say big brother because his girth is larger than mine – he fell one night and Hey was at work in DC. It was late and we had to jump in this convertible with a bad top; so we had to let it down and when I say it was cold…that would be an understatement.

Another time, I had been grounded and wanted to go to the ‘After the Homecoming’ and hangout. She let me go on the condition that she shadowed me the whole time. I realized all this was the love she had for me. At the age of 14, I became a very angry child. And about the age of 17, Ahma came to me and asked point blank, ‘Is this the reason?’ And I lied and said, ‘Why would you ask me something like that!’ But I knew she knew.

One time, 2 years ago, Hey got one of those scam calls where they say your son is in jail and needs money. Ahma immediately called ‘Chell and said, ‘What do we need to do to get him out.’ Not, ‘Oh my God, what did he do now?’ What I’m saying is, she was always there and a lot of times she didn’t want me to know it was her.

On August 7th, my mother went from a physical person I could touch and hug, to memories and pictures. I know from the day we are born the hour glass starts running and nobody but God knows how much sand is in the glass. But, even though we know this, and we know God does everything for a reason, it still don’t make sense.

Ahma asked a lot of times, what I was running from and the answer is hurt and pain. And I think sometimes that I would go before a lot of people. Pam, Ahma’s grandmother, was well in her hundreds. Miss Jean fought cancer and was in her 90’s when she passed. So, who would expect my loving mother would go so soon.

In closing, time is precious. Never take anybody for granted that you love. Tell them every chance you get. My last words to my mother were, ‘No, I don’t want to fly. Let me call you back.’ I’ve got a lot of condolences and ‘sorry for your loss,’ but I would trade them all for 30 more minutes with her.

Everyone says, don’t think of the loss; think of the good time and thank God for the time you had – and that’s true. And no matter what, we are all blessed and we should never complain. And because of that I thank God, even though…”

“I’ve had some good days.
I’ve had some hills to climb.
I’ve had some weary days
And some sleepless nights
But when I, when I look around
And I think things over,
All of my good days
Outweigh my bad days.
I, I won’t complain.”

– the beginning of the song “I Won’t Complain,” sung a cappella by Pastor Johnson as a segue between into his remarks


I offer much gratitude to my “bigger” brother Bert and Pastor Johnson for remembering our mother in a way that was “profound, inspirational, and touched my heart,” from beginning to end. I do not have a recording of their seamless beauty; however, here are Cynthia Erivo and Amber Iman in 2016, honoring Cicely Tyson, with a tribute to women and a performance of the song that is an equal gift.

### Daughter, Granddaughter, Sister/Cousin, Best Friend, Neighbor, Wife, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Seer, Seeker, Keeper of Secrets, Inspiration ###

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