Never would I have ever, ever think that I would make it this far…
You taught me how to smile, the first time we looked into each others eyes, the day that I was able to finally see who you were. At first when I came, I gasped with tears looking for you, not knowing what you looked like, only knowing the energy that you held within you. You have always been able to stop my tears, by holding me comfortably and resting my head upon your breasts.
You taught me strength. No matter how many times we were removed from our home or how many shelters we had to reside in, you never signed away on your life. Although food was limited, your hustle was persistent. I don’t remember if there were ever a whole day that went by, where I would have gone without having had something in my stomach. You taught me that with having strength comes sacrifice. You’ve had many sleepless nights,your body had many desires for it to remain for the next day, yet when the next day came, you and your smile still remained.
You taught me to be humble. Although we never had the world, we had the things that God provided us, which was each other. That was what you told me. I would complain silently for my needs as a child to be able to live as a child. Silently I complained, because so aware were my eyes to the pain you felt each day, but tried to hide from me. I knew that to still have you there with me was a blessing, and God must be real up there, because I remember every night in your prayers, you asking, “Dear lord, If I ever shall die, please have mercy on my daughter and allow her to have another day.” I had wondered at the time, if God ever spoke back to you. I was glad that we always had some place to sleep at night, so I learned that although I may live in struggle, as long as I had something today, there was still a chance for a better tomorrow.
You taught me that love was still real, even when it wasn’t seen. I remember when my need to be a teen, and to live like the people I watched, got the best of me and I began to hate you for what you couldn’t provide for me. I cursed you, I mocked you, I betrayed you, and I left you. Still though, mother, you never left me. Why though? How could you have still loved me while I did so much harm to your heart? You said, “because for nine months we were one, and on the day when for the first time we locked eyes, something automatically became real through you first smile, something that I promised would always remain in my own heart.” Then I would remember everything we been though, my childhood, and how not only did you keep me alive, but the love from both of us combined, is was kept us standing.
You taught me that valuing myself as a woman came first. I remember my first heartbreak, when I cried in your arms, and once again you comforted me with resting my head upon your breasts .I remember me wondering and asking aloud, “what did I do wrong?” and how could I fix it. You told me that the only thing I needed to fix was my level of self esteem and my need to be wanted. You told me that I was born to be a creator, a healer, a warrior, and that I was a nurturer for life, that life depended on me, and I needed not to depend on it, or devalue myself as a pawn waiting to be used. You told me that many things will be said about me and many images will be created, to portray me as something which I must know for myself, I am not. From then I understood my value, and my worth. Watching you as a woman, taught me who I am.
You taught me to love, instead of hate what I didn’t understand. When they diagnosed you, I was angry, I was confused, I had questions but didn’t know where to go to find the answers. So I felt that God was responsible. I felt like you paved the way for everything you’ve been through, in order for you to be able to live a long life. So why couldn’t God have mercy? When that was all you’ve ever asked of him in the first place. But you denied me of my anger, and reminded me how God kept us both in each others lives, and provided for us the means to survive, through our times of struggle. You told me that everything that has life has it’s time, but just because the things we love doesn’t last forever, does not mean that we need to curse it from the time it’s been with us. You told me that my frustration of not understanding something, meant that I wasn’t one with it, and me being frustrated with God for what was happening to you, meant that I wasn’t one with him. You taught me that forgiveness, would provide prosperity for my heart, so I forgave my misunderstanding, and I forgave my own separation, from the life bond that we made.
You taught me that if I were to truly be a forgiving person, I had to let go
You taught me so many things, but most importantly, you taught me how to be a strong, standing, faithful, and motivating black woman, who was inspired by her own queen.
On this special day of mine, I dedicate it to you, both me and your granddaughter. Although she remembers you barely, I pass on everything that you have ever given me, to her. On that day when her and I first locked eyes, and I seen her smile for the first time, I understood the bond, and I made the same promise to her, that you made to me.
This is a special day for us all, and I know you’re here celebrating and enjoying it with us. I thank you for being a queen, who raised a queen, who is now able to raise up another queen. Without you, I could not have been possible.