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Original story by Roshonda N. Blackmon
The meeting is a story of a woman whom is struggling loss and the memories of her mother whom she soon discovers has kept a startling secret from her all these years.
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I awoke four times throughout the night; feelings of restlessness, anxiousness, nervousness and just downright confusion, all taking over my body like a plague. When I awoke the first time, I couldn’t help but pace back and forward up and down the floor like I needed a fix or something. My forehead, neck, armpits and nose all sweaty with perspiration, every time I tried to calm myself to lie back down; I got right back up repeating the same steps over and over again. I began repeating lines in my head like I was going out for a lead role in a major movie and needed to have my lines down just right…
After many tries of this scenario, I finally got up and trampled downstairs to fix myself some sleepy time tea, maybe this would ease my agonizing nerves so I could put my eyelids on shut down mode, even if only for an hour. As I sat there drinking my tea and slowly allowing its hot pressure to ease down my throat, a couple of childhood memories came flooding back to my mind. I began thinking about my first picture day at school. Savannah Park Elementary was the school I attended from kindergarten up until fourth grade, my dad was in the military, so making friends and being grounded in one place was out of the question for our family.
As I kept sipping my tea, I remembered picture day always being so important for mama. She would always get up extremely early just to make sure that I was not only ready but all dolled up for my “BIG” day. I remember her coming into the room always smelling as if she had just bathed in fresh flowers scented with a little jasmine or vanilla. I always knew when she was near, her scent would meet me before she would. She would always look so refreshed, as if she had never gone to bed. She was always smiling and so full of life, I often wondered if she ever cried or had a bad day.
She would always wake me up with a soft touch of her hand stroking my hair backwards from my face, all while humming a tune on her lips. As soon as my eyes opened, I looked right into her big brown eyes with rollers still tied tightly in her hair. “Wake up Angela it’s picture day, she said, humming gently. I have to admit I wasn’t so happy about that picture day as I had just lost my front tooth a week prior, so smiling was not something I was looking forward to displaying. Somehow, I knew if I smiled, I would regret it from kindergarten up until senior high school; because mama didn’t care how I looked, she took joy in parading my pictures around for everyone to see – the only thing she knew was that I was her baby girl and I looked beautiful. She was so proud of me and always bragged about how blessed she was to have me.
Once my mom finished pressing and curling my hair, she put me on this pink ruffled dress with ruffled pink and white socks. It was cute and all but I was thinking to myself are we going to church? or am I going to school. Mama always overdid everything when it came to me. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the only girl in the midst of two boys. My mom was not only
crazy about me; but she was crazily compassionate about people as well, she never met a stranger she didn’t talk too. One Sunday after church we went to the Piggly Wiggly, which was one of our most frequent trips after Sunday service. As mama gathered the groceries and we proceeded to the checkout line, we stood behind a man and woman. I heard the cashier say “That’ll be $45.26” the young couple who now looked perplexed about their food purchase, began looking at the two sacks of groceries in front of them. I heard the man say quietly, “We have to put something back honey, we don’t have enough.” I could tell this frustrated the cashier because her face turned from a smile to a frown in two seconds. My mom whom also noticed the transaction, immediately stepped in and told them not to worry, she would pay for their groceries. The man and the woman looked at my mom with tears in their eyes and said “God Bless you Miss” …. The man began to explain how he had been laid off of his job for a month now and had just found out that the company would not be rehiring him and quite a few other workers, the unemployment check he received on Friday was the last one until he finds another job and most of it went to paying bills.
My wife and I only had $20.00 for groceries, he said sadly … thank you miss he kept saying, as he and the woman grabbed their bags to leave. The woman was in tears, she looked so sad and distant – she looked at me and smiled. My mother told them that they were welcome and put some extra money in their hand. That’s a day that I’ll never forget. When my dad got killed in the war when I was 12, my mom suddenly had to become both mom and dad. His death was a shock to us all, it was the first time I had ever seen my mother cry in front of me through it all, she managed to hold down two jobs, three kids and the bills. She was definitely my Proverbs 31 woman.
As I came to myself, I noticed my tea was gone; my cup now taking in the tears that dropped from my eyes. Thinking of my mother made me cry, as I now feel her pain and struggle of being a single mom and raising children alone, a task that I now unfortunately face. My husband of 10yrs left me a week ago to be with another woman. She needed him was all he told me and took his belongings and walked out. This was my second marriage to failure, my first marriage was right out of High School; we both were so young and thought we knew everything about life and love, but the responsibilities of the two took a toll on our young marriage and we divorced after a year. How did mama do it I began to think. What do I say to my twin girls, How are they suppose to cope with the fact that their dad left us to be with another family. How do I cope as a now ex-wife, my head began to hurt just thinking about it.
But, right now I have to pull it together and table those thoughts as I have something way more heavier than this to think about today. As I got up from the kitchen stool to head back upstairs, I could feel the effects of the sleepy time tea taking it’s toll on my body – quickly glancing at the clock on the stove, It was now 4 a.m. Thank God for my older brother and his wife watching the girls for me. I need all the concentration in the world, I need to think and it would’ve been very hard with the girls going back and forward at each other’s throats. As I got into bed and began to settle into the covers – I could feel my eyes getting heavier and heavier, “Yesssss, I am finally feeling relaxed enough to fall asleep. I guess I have to tell Jackie that the tea does work, it reallyyyy issssss a goodd teaaaa …
It seemed like I had just dozed off to sleep, when I awoke to the annoying sound of my alarm clock! DING, DING, DING, DING ……. what in the world? I woke up quickly out of my bed. Oh no!! Is it 8am already? Oh how I would love to get just two more hours in!! But the task ahead suddenly popped in my mind and I knew that I had to get up. I reached my hand over to quickly hit the off button on the alarm clock before it could remind me again that I had not taken the initiative to get out of bed….
To Be Continued…5/27/18
© Roshonda N. Blackmon, All Rights Reserved
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