Wednesday, September 22, 2010
My mother had just bought a baby blue 1960s Nova with splotches of primer - the perfect patina, not for the hip factor, but because it was cheap - $600. My brother was 5 years old, and my mother was taking him to his first day of kindergarten in the new vintage Nova. She was raising her voice to the Lord in song, her hands placed firmly at the 10 and 2. Josh was holding tightly to his new Care Bears metal lunchbox. He was filled with wonder and excitement for his first day of kindergarten. While on the freeway, the Nova went crazy, erratically sweeping across the lanes, and finally flipping over 2x, before landing on its backside like an overturned turtle. It all happened so fast, but everyone was fine. My brother hung upside down, held in place by his seatbelt, eyes wide open, heart beating fast. My mother instantly undid her seatbelt & my brother's, and they climbed out the windows. Feet planted on the asphalt, she lifted her hands to the sky, and exclaimed "Hallelujah!"
Hallelujah! It runs through my head today like a paean, for today, approximately 4 years since my mother's death, I can finally share her hard earned money with her children -- her Estate is closed! As personal representative to my mother's estate, it's been a hard road, filled with court filings, obstacles, bureaucracy - a real test of my strength at every turn. Probate is a bitch! But it's all done, and now I can focus on the memory of my dear, zany, fearless mother.
I wear my African shirt for you today, mom. Africa -- the land that you loved, when you were young and vibrant, guided by love, empathy, and altruism. In the Mission Field, in the heat of Africa, a beautiful Chinese Canadian with long black hair, outside your hut, in the schoolhouses where you taught the children English, on the land that you worked, amongst the people that you prayed for. You are in Africa, you are in Russia, you are in China, you are in Canada - a child overlooking the Detroit River from your house on Riverside Dr, you are in heaven, you are always in my heart.