If not for this woman, I'd be so scared at what I'm going to find out at 2:30 p.m. today.
As it is, knowing the smarts, the strength, and the determination housed in this sweetheart's little body all of her years--and because I am her daughter--I realize that I will come through the chemotherapy consultation prepared to face what is next, not nearly as scared as I might have been.
My Mama (and my Daddy) taught my brother Howard and me to prepare ourselves mentally for what might be in our future, to rely on the love and support of our family, to see ourselves being successful, or, at the very least, coming out OK on the other side. My parents were not saints; they were hard-working people, trying to raise us the best that they could, by example in home life, work life, extended family life. Howard and I often speak about how we lucked out astronomically with the two of them as our Mama and Daddy. We'll tell that to anyone who will listen, smiling and feeling in awe as we speak, filled with great memories, loaded with impressions of strength and fortitude. Nowadays since he's still in Mississippi and I'm in Oregon, we talk on the phone very often, and I can see in my mind's eye the tilt of his head, the slight smile, the soft shrug of his shoulders, and the glow in his eyes when we're talking about Mama and Daddy, the blessings that they are our parents.
Because my husband LeRoy died when Lamont was seven and Leland was four, my Mama and Daddy and Howard played a huge role in helping to raise those two little boys into the men that they are today, not discounting one single iota of the influence of their Daddy's genes. He was the same kind of person as my parents. Able to see the humor and creativity and love in the people that the world sent our way, able to use inner strength and determination to get through what the world sent our way.
Lamont and Leland will be beside me at 2:30 p.m. today. There in spirit: Mama, Daddy, and LeRoy.
I love that I got to use one of Mama's favorite words in this post today, iota. She, who didn't get past the 9th grade, somehow discovered that iota fit perfectly when one wanted to discuss and extremely small amount. Thank you, Mama.