Yesterday was my momma’s birthday.
As far back as I can remember, birthdays have always been a big deal in this family.
same day, same people, (really similar outfits), different year
We like celebrations. Then again, who doesn’t? Cake, smiles, laughter, friends, joy, family, more cake…these things equate happiness.
Sometimes, though, there are other feelings that sneak into celebrations.
Memories of people who used to celebrate with us. Nostalgia. Things we file under the category of bittersweet.
As a unit, I think we were really missing this lady last night.
My momma’s momma. My Momo.
Until last night, I think I had limited my memory of her to goodbye. Over a year has gone by, but still I could not go deeper into how things used to be; when she would drive to our house for every birthday, make fried chicken for dinner and a chocolate pie for dessert. Our celebration last night changed that. And I’m so glad that it did – I needed to remember.
After all, my mom is a part of my grandmother. In celebrating one’s entry into the world, we remember the other’s exit.
I have a B.A. in Creative Writing. To obtain that degree, I had do quite a bit of poetry writing. I pretended not to like it. It seemed gratuitous; overly emotional and feely-feely. I wanted to do young adult fiction that was pop-y and bright. I wanted to write life into protagonists who loved the color pink, and ate cupcakes, and dreamed of being Homecoming queen, and talked about boys and silly drama and fashion. That was that. No black berets and tortured souls and rain-spattered windows for me, thank you.
Mostly, that is what I do. Proof: I’ll submit the final draft of a YA manuscript to my editing team at the end of this month. But sometimes poetry just gets at it more than prose – “it” being that nameless feeling, that forgotten memory that tends to sneak into things like birthday celebrations.
That being said:
We miss you, Momo.
Happy birthday, Momma.