I Survived with Help From Above

Late last night I quietly marked the 1st anniversary of my mother’s death. Anniversary has always seemed an odd way to refer to someone’s death, because I really only think about anniversaries in relation to happy occasions. However when you turn to the dictionary, as we writers, are trained to do you find that this term is appropriate.
Merriam-Webster defines an anniversary as “the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event” and notable it was. That is the day that my world changed forever and a piece of me died.
The hours, days and months have continued and with each day I have learned something new about me, and in turn about my mother. You see, I envisioned myself experiencing a total meltdown. A meltdown complete with days in the bed and tears that would never seem to stop flowing. That was not the case, and it is my mother who predicted what would happen. A few weeks before she died, at a time when I still believed she would be around for several months she calmly told me “you’ll be fine,” in response to my tear-filled rant about not knowing how I would manage to survive without her.
I also give credit to my faith and belief that she is now in a better place and that she is no longer suffering. God has led me through this and along the way He has placed the right people in my path at the time they were most needed. As an example, over the last four days I have experienced the love and support of four different women, all keeping me grounded as my mother would do if she were here.
This all began on Friday when a new friend presented me with a lovely book that celebrates the mother-daughter bond. The book “Still the Person I Turn To” is a compilation of quotes and Bible verses that speak to this special relationship and it was written by daughter’s for their mother. When Evelyn presented the book to me, she said she had reservations about whether her timing would be appropriate or if it would be too difficult for me to receive. I’m happy to say that the timing was perfect because I knew that it was given with love, and at a time when I needed to feel some joy.
Saturday while researching family history I had to call my Mom’s sister to verify some information and that call turned into a long conversation about family and finally about spirits being channeled into the living. How, you ask? Well this past December when Cleveland experienced its first major snow storm of the season I was overcome with a desire to be outside in the snow, a trait I had left in my childhood years ago, and my only explanation for this desire was that my Mom was pulling me out into the snow. She loved to be out and about during the first snow. I recall a number of phone calls asking, “Hey girl don’t you want to go for a drive? or Let’s go for a walk and play in the snow.” So why else would I be drawn outside in some of the nastiest weather of the season? Not long after that experience I shared it with my aunt but she wanted to know more about channeling.
This idea of someone speaking to you from another place is all new to me, and I can’t say that I know how it happens or if it really does. I can however say that this is the second time I believe someone who was not present attempted to send me a message.
The wonders of friendship continued on Sunday when a friend decided to forgo her own health to attend a reading of “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf.” When she called she said she wasn’t feeling well, but would attend because of the circumstances – the anniversary of my Mom’s death.
To further confirm the presence of spirits in our lives, or at least in mine, I received a package in the mail today from a friend thinking of me during my time of loss. She sent me an essay “Connected To Mama’s Spirit” by Gloria Wade-Gayles that chronicles the mother-daughter bond and our connection with other “dimensions”. It is a wonderfully written story of a daughter’s last days with her mother and how she fought the presence of other dimensions. How fitting!
I share this to say that I made it through the first year. It’s been challenging and difficult, but I have learned that the strength I don’t believe my mother knew she had was passed on to me, along with the gift of loving friends. I miss her daily, but I have faith I’ll see her again.

Playing in the Snow!

Today I have been channeling my mother as Cleveland, that is the city proper, received the first snowstorm of the winter. My mother loved the first snow and being a part of the glorious beauty that God has given us in the form of snowflakes. Now I don’t dislike snow, but not since my childhood
have I really reveled in just being a part of it. I like to watch it from the window and I love to see the fresh snow on the trees, but to just hang out in it – Not!
Today was different, I re
ally think she was egging me on so out I went to take photos and just enjoy the beauty of it. The weather reminded me of a snowstorm we had in I think in 1999 or so. The city
was basically shut down and when I looked out of my house there was a couple of feet of snow in the driveway and on the streets. At the time I lived down the street from my parents and at the height of the storm who comes traipsing down the street but my Mom. She’s wearing her fur coat and trying to get me to come and walk with her. I was not game. Now, she really wasn’t a dog person, but that day she asked me to give her my dog – CoCo so she could take her for a walk. That was one of the funniest things I had seen and today it was a wonderful memory! I now only wish I had gone out to play with her.
One advantage I had today was that I did not have to drive in it! So I’m writing this post at 6:15 p.m. and although I don’t have to drive in the gridlock that is Cleveland right now, I am becoming impatient. I have been waiting for my husband for over an hour, but there is n
o need to be angry because he has been trying to get from E. 21st St. to E. 13th street for over an hour. What a mess! This storm really caught the City of Cleveland by surprise. Hopefully I will arrive home before 8 p.m. and upload the photos that support this post. So it’s now 10:32 p.m. and I have only been home
about an hour!
I just received a message from my brother in Virginia telling me to come down for a visit. I think I will soon, but as I said I’m not one of those Clevelanders crying about the weather. The snow
will get old sooner than later, but I love living in an area with four distinct seasons and hey the cost of living is good!
Below are some of the photos I captured.