Friday, November 22, 2013

"30 Days of Thankfulness"

I was approached by a fellow blogger that received some life changing news at the age of 36...cancer. Not only was she diagnosed with mesothelioma but she was also given 15 months to live only 3 months after giving birth to her first child. That was 8 years ago, and today Heather is cancer free! You can read more about her amazing story here. Heather was diagnosed in November so instead of being sad all month, she's decided to have "30 Day of Thankfulness" which she is spreading around the blogsphere. She asked me to participate and I am happy to oblige. I hope you enjoy Heather and everyone else!

When tasked with posting about something I'm thankful for, I was truly at a lost. Not because I'm ungrateful but because I know I have so much to be thankful for! I believe in God and must say, I am definitely blessed!! When thinking about my blessings, it became clear what I needed to post about. I'm taking it back to the beginnings. On this day in this month (and everyday of every month) I am thankful for my mother, Crystal or Big Crystal.

In the Spring of 1989, I was born to a single black female on the east side of Detroit. Sounds like the first line of a novel that goes on to talk about struggle and triumph and revenge and reward right? I'm guessing somewhere about 9ish months before this spring day she decided to be the best mommie in the world...or maybe she was thinking "oh shit!" while looking at whatever home pregnancy test but I get to tell the story the way I want ;) Anyway, whether she decided it then or it just happened along the way that's exactly what she accomplished. She's my personal hero and the best mommie ever.

Me and my mom began our life together much as you'd expect from a single mom in the inner city. We moved in with her parents so she could finish school. During this time, she taught me the importance of education. I remember going to class with her sometimes and "taking notes" or supposedly doing my homework while she did hers. Now, having gone through school I think back about how I used to write on her papers or ask her to tell me a story while she studied and how annoying that must have been to her haha. I valued that time...and I still do now.

In the Fall of 1997 me and my mommie experienced heartbreak and immeasurable joy together. When her and her then fiancee broke up, we felt it together and together we welcomed my little sister. So our two woman wolf pack grew to a three woman wolf pack. Looking back, I never saw my mom's strength waiver during this time. I know now it had to be tough on her but then I could never tell. It taught me, that no matter what...the world keeps spinning. Life moves on no matter what you have going on so dropping the ball (especially on what's important) isn't an option. Definitely, one of the most important lessons I needed to learn. It played over and over in my head when I became pregnant while still pursuing my engineering degree, only 4 months after losing my grandfather. I had the foundation in place to be able to deal, and for that I definitely owe her.

Through middle and high school, we had a relationship much like all mom's with hormonal teenage girls...up and down lol. We had a very mother-daughter relationship. She was definitely the boss and I was definitely the child. I suppose it's annoying then but I appreciate that now. She taught boundaries and not always getting your way but most importantly she taught me the difference between needs and wants. I think a lot of us don't know the difference sometimes and it probably stemmed from our adolescent/teenage years. Self control was instilled in me around this time and I'm definitely the better for it today.

College for me was a turning point in our relationship. I went about 700 miles away for school and it was the first time in EVER me and my mommie had a long distance relationship. During that time I learned thee single most important thing I would learn in becoming a woman and definitely becoming a mother. I learned that my mommie and hero was "just" a person. And I don't mean this is a negative way, I think learning that especially at that time was important because I felt like I could just be a person too. People make mistakes, and have problems and insecurities and flaws. Children's parent's are their heroes and with it we tend to think that makes them some superhuman thing. Our parents' aren't things, they are mortal human beings like the rest of us. My mom's and my relationship grew to another level once I discovered that, maybe she felt like I was old enough to know then lol. We exchanged stories of love and pain and defeat and overcoming. I understood that she was an amazing person rather than a superhero. Being like her was attainable because I didn't have to become immortal. I felt more at ease to know that even when I failed, I was ok because she did (at some point) too. One day I hope to be an amazing person like her and it's not too late for me yet :)

[Glossing over my personal shortcomings...]...On March 5, 2012 my mother entered a new role...Grandma. She says this one is better than the other one haha. I would imagine if I asked God for the best grandma for my little girl, He would have sent my mom anyway. I love to see my daughter look at her because she knows that big Crystal is something special too. Becoming a mother made me aware of how my mother had been feeling me and my sisters' whole lives. As a result of this, you can imagine our relationship has once again moved to a new level of closeness. I strive to gain her respect as a mother because she taught me what I know...and I think she does, sometimes ;)

People often say that naming a child after someone gives them a lot to live up to or places unrealistic expectations. I've never thought about it that way, having grown up sharing a name with my mom but maybe there's something to it. I guess I'm actually thankful that on that spring day in '89, she decided to give me that piece of her. Even though I will never be Big Crystal, maybe one day I will be amazing too. I hear people say they married their best friend, or had children by their best friend...I am blessed to say, I was born to mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment