Today is my mother’s 60th birthday. I can’t say “it would have been.” It is. I’m broken hearted about it in a million different ways. The death of a loved one is not something you get over. It’s something you take day by day and live through, at best. Not everyone survives it, so I’m sitting on 6,081 personal victories.
On her birthday and the anniversary of her death, I get really sad, and understandably so. I was in my car, and the first song that came on was “No Woman, No Cry.” I switched to Beyonce, and “I Was Here” eventually came on. No ma’am. There will be other days to remember her with Gladys Knight, Carole King and James Taylor. Today won’t be that day though.
One of my favorite memories was us sitting in bible study, and someone said something funny. My mother was very well respected and many people saw her as an example, but she could not shake the giggles. For the longest time, she stared at the wall, shoulders silently shaking, as she tried to compose herself. Then, she lost it. She erupted into this earth shattering laugh, and it gave everyone else license to do so as well.
I know that she believed firmly in people claiming their humanity, and there is no way she would not have wanted me to cry if I felt sadness. But I was reminded today that Mama loved to laugh, so today, I honored her memory with joy and laughter. There was a tear or two, but they didn’t overtake me. I’ll never be okay with her being gone, but today, I’m okay with being. Here’s to 6,082.