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She got me good. Real good.
“Yu a tutty tree an mi nevah si yu wid a man yet…. and you might nu hav no piknee eeda.”
TRANSLATION: You’re thirty three and I’ve never seen you with a man. You might not have any kids either.
It was a dig and I deserved it.
I don’t fight with my parents.
Bicker, yes. Blow outs, no.
We have too much baggage and the conversations inevitably end up in tears.
This time, with my mom, was a blow out.
Screaming, yelling, cursing, crying.
It was out of line.
I was fed up with the way I felt she was parenting me and my sister.
I was sick of my days being interrupted with phone calls full of complaints.
I was done.
So I let her have it. I said things no daughter should ever say to their mother.
Recalling her intermittent absence throughout our childhood, reminding her of the many moments missed.
Audaciously explaining to her who a mother should be.
The nerve of me. Childless and chastising.
So she let me have it. She went for the jugular and called out my deepest insecurity and current quest: love.
The tremble in my voice let her know she won.
You got me mom. You win.
By morning my entitlement gave way to guilt and I became more conscious of my “secret sin.”
The one I tell no one about.
Honor thy mother and father.
I struggle here. Deeply.
I love my mother. Deeply.
But, I struggle.
Growing up I’ve always looked like her. Stole her style, her eyes.
The older I get, the more I become like her.
Emotional, dramatic, always gotta be right.
And although we are so much alike, the worst of me has found it easy to judge the worst in her.
Until I remember the two weeks of my life when she mothered like no other.
Ten years ago, I was a twenty-something college grad eager to move across country for my first big job.
My mom, sister and I flew out west with courage and eight suitcases full of clothes.
In just two weeks, my mom gave me what only a mother could give: a safe place called home.
Here I was in a new city I’d never visited before and there she was beside me.
When she left I had a new apartment, completely furnished, a refrigerator full of food and candles to boot.
I had not a worry in the world and it was all because momma made it that way.
Now, 10 years later, I’m sitting on an air mattress in my empty, big city apartment grateful for those moments and my beautifully imperfect, incredibly loving, hilariously funny, cook her ass off, Jamaican momma.