Before I even begin writing the whole of this post, I want to warn readers that this has extreme triggers about death. If you’d like to read a more light-hearted subject read my last blog post about my asking a ghost to prom here: https://somethingstoremember.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/im-taking-a-ghost-to-prom/
For as long as I can remember, my neighbor was always supportive of me. You could say that she was the neighborhood “Queen of the Grandmothers” because she expressed that sentiment toward everyone. I never knew her as anything other than “Big Mama”. She wasn’t heavy-set, and she certainly was never part of a Tyler Perry movie. She was one of the kindest, most beautiful-hearted women I’ve ever had the privelage to know. She supported my studies, and gave whatever she could for my schooling. Every year she would give my grandmother lunch money for me. She was the first person ever to want to buy a cake from me to “headstart” my culinary career.
Big Mama called all the time to tell us she was praying for us, or just to check on all of us. She could make you laugh with how long her voice messages ran. Most of the time they wouldn’t fit on the machine. The saddest part of that, though, is we never really picked up the phone when she called. We all simply ignored it because ‘she talks too much’ or ‘I’ll never be able to get off the phone with her’. Over the period of 17 years, I can count on both hands how many times I called her to talk to her, and how many times I came to visit her. Big Mama was one of the people who get swept under the rug; Like a duplicate Christmas present that you forgot to return within the 30 day period. With her, you always forgot to reciprocate the kindess and time spent.
I can’t say I don’t regret doing more for her because I ultimately do regret it. I wish I would have baked her favorite cake for her before she passed. I know I should have called her long before she was admitted into the hospital. I should have brought her the heartfelt warmth that she constantly radiated to others. I feel terrible that I never sent her a birthday card or even thought about her more. Even when I heard that she was in the hospital from breathing problems and (surprisingly) dementia, I made a mental note to visit her. Obviously, though, the plan never materialised. If I could have her back now without the realization of all this, I don’t know if I would do anything differently.
Somehow Big Mama slipped through the cracks of a busy lifestyle, and nobody in the world, especially her, deserves that. Love and appreciate those around you. Sometimes you don’t realize how much of an impact they have made on your life until it’s too late. Please don’t take them for granted.
R.I.P. Big Mama