Humans logo

Mama

by Lolita Libra about a year ago in family
Report Story

by Leslie Staton

January 2, 1982

Sometimes it ain’t easy to talk about my mama. We had a rough go at it in the beginning. More like my sister sometimes, but my mama nonetheless. She met me kicking and screaming in the fall of ’82 and if you ask her, I gave her about as much trouble since. My mama wasn’t raised like women are now, she was taught to cook her husband’s dinner, and smile, and eat whatever bullshit life gave her with a silver spoon. She rallied against it as best she could, but she was what her mother had intended her to be in those early years of her marriage to my Daddy. She tried to get me to be a good little woman too, but that just wasn’t in the cards for me. When my Daddy left her, she cried in a rocking chair and asked me to stay with her, but I left. I feel nothing but shame now remembering how pathetic I thought she was. Sometimes I wish I had stayed that day, but that wasn’t what was meant to happen, so it didn’t. I spent a lot of time thinking my mama was weak, or even stupid back then. Took me havin’ my own life and kids to see just how hard it can be, and how we are all just running around like chickens with our heads cut off tryin’ to do our best. And she really did her best. We always had clean clothes and good food on the table. My mama may have screamed a lot, but she loved us just as loud. We may not have had every new toy, but we found little notes in our lunch boxes, and came home to our dolls dressed up perfectly in my baby sister’s old clothes. I could never dress them up right like my mama could. She made us wear a jacket when it was cold, and she cleaned our blood away when we got hurt. She was a good mama, but after some years had passed, she discovered that maybe she just wasn’t that good a woman after all, and maybe she didn’t need to be. Maybe she didn’t want to be. She changed after the divorce. She cared less what people thought of her, especially what the church thought. She smoked and cussed when she wanted to, and she told us to fix our own dinner. She lost weight and began to really live her life for what seemed like the first time ever. I started to see my mama in a different light then, she was not the weak woman that Daddy made her, but stronger than I knew. Stronger than I could ever know, even now. She was there when we needed her, she is there even now if I need her. She won’t tell you everything is okay, and she won’t feel sorry for you, but she will be there. I used to want a mother that would hold my hand every time I felt sad, someone who would do my hair for a dance, or tell me they are sorry my boyfriend hurt my feelings, but that wasn’t my mama. There were worst things than a broken heart or a messy head of hair, and she knew it from personal experience. I now know that I get my strength from her. I don’t sit and wallow in whatever sad predicaments I may face, because I hear my mama’s voice telling me there are worst things, and to quit feeling sorry for myself. I hear her telling me to keep going, that nothing is so constant as change, and that things can’t be that bad for too long. I know I will be okay after every breakup, because she was. I know my kids will turn out okay, even if I am not perfect, because we did. I can’t tell you all of the sacrifices she made for us, but I can say they were many. I know she worried a lot more than anyone should, and she cried when she was mad, like I do now. I will never know the struggles she faced in reality, but I know they were there everyday and she did her damndest so that we wouldn’t have to face so many when we grew up. I know that everything good in me is from her. I used to want to be nothing like her when I was too young to know this world, and now when people say I am like my mom, I take it as one of the biggest compliments someone can give.

family

About the author

Lolita Libra

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.