Why my momma is a bada$$…

My Momma. This is the name I have affectionately called her for years…whether it’s to her liking or not I’m not sure. BUT, I suspect just from knowing her for the, oh…I don’t know, last 47 years, if she in fact DIDN’T like it she would most likely tell me. Not right away of course. It would be a week long internal conversation…a struggle if you will. Of not wanting to offend me, hurt my feelings, or start an argument while at the same time saying to herself, “well, I really dislike it so I just need to tell her and be honest. Because that’s the right thing to do.” Ha. Yep. That’s my momma!

Lucky for me in this particular case, I think she’s perfectly okay with her given title. She knows it comes from a place of love and respect. Something that she values deeply and knows can unfortunately be fleeting at times when it comes to a relationship between a child and their mother. As children grow and mature, differences of opinion happen. Inconsistencies happen. Trust issues happen. Emotions happen. Drastic changes in location, lifestyles, beliefs, and interests happen.

LIFE happens.

It happened to me too in my past relationship with my momma. While I was away at college. Twelve hours from home attending Duke University. I wasn’t under her thumb or the large intimidating thumb of my father’s. I was 18, 19, 20 years old and really finding out who I was. ME. Who I was and what I thought I wanted for my life. Discovering new things, different people, traveling, and all with no curfew. I was on my own. And in many ways discovering life outside of the small town where I grew up was a lot. Not for me really, but for my parents. There was a period…a longer stretch of time then I would have liked…that my momma and I didn’t communicate at all. My life was so different then it was when I was shooting baskets with my dad in the backyard after talking to my high school boyfriend on the phone (who my parents knew well), eating dinner as a family, doing homework, and going to bed. They were watching me make decisions that were out of their control. I was growing up. And communication between my mom and I became virtually non existent.

It was hard. It was sad. And it was painful.

For BOTH of us. Not just me.

See, I know that NOW. Then? I was just angry at my mom for her “decision” that she made to what I felt at the time was shutting me out. When in all reality, she was probably having one of her “internal conversations”…not wanting to offend me, hurt my feelings, or start an argument while at the same time saying to herself, “well, I really dislike this so I just need to tell her and be honest. Because that’s the right thing to do.” Except in this particular case, I was in many respects a grown woman. And unfortunately, it lasted several months. 😦 Months that we can’t get back as mother and daughter. Yet months that I, as the mother of two teenage girls now myself have learned so much from. I look now as a grown woman and have more understanding. And she looks now as the mother of a 40 something (yes, me…shhhhhh), and as a Nana of many and has more understanding as well.

See, we grew…my momma and I. From this experience alone our relationship grew. That’s just how God works. Was it easy? Oh my LORD no. Was it part of my life experience that I will never regret, change, or take back? YEP.

So let’s get to it. I mean seriously. The title of this entry after all IS “Why my momma is a Bada$$”. So let me tell ya’ll!

Let’s begin with fact one. She raised 3 girls (ummmm…I have 2 teenage girls myself and if this isn’t a reason to be labeled a “bad a$$” all on it’s own I don’t know what is! LOL!) Two of which, (my older sister and I), she raised all on her own for a period of time after my biological father and her divorced. Fact #2 of my momma’s “badassery”.

Going back before she was a married and divorced grown woman, my momma was the youngest sister of five. Sadly, one of her sisters passed away when she was young. I myself, have two sisters. Alive and well. I can’t imagine this. And while I have buried a son myself, my momma watched her parents bury her sister and dealt with all of the after effects that come along with that. Losing a child changes a parent. (Trust me, I know). Losing a sibling while watching your parents change from losing their daughter? I can’t even fathom. “Badassery fact #3”.

My mom remarried to the absolute love of her life when my older sister and I were very young…to my tall, handsome, basketball obsessed father who CHOSE us to be his own. He adopted us out of pure love and together they had my little sister out of the same. She had one big happy family again…which is ALL my momma has EVER wanted. Happiness in her family. And because she opened her heart to love again and put her faith and trust in God as she always has…she received it. She didn’t let herself become bitter or scorned. She reopened her heart. For her AND for her daughters. And because of that, my sisters and I grew up with a dad that loved us and a mom that was happy. And I got another sister. 🙂 Thank you mom. ❤️ Momma “badassery fact #4”.

My dad’s career path was a tough one. He was in the transportation business and for some reason as we grew up, one company would be bought by another company over and over and over. With that, came transfers to different cities, new job titles, lots of traveling, and unfortunately relocation. 😦 There were months where my dad would begin work in the new city he was transferred to while my mom was home, trying to get our home ready to sell, looking for new homes via realtor in the new city, and just being downright lonely. She would just be beginning to establish new roots, new friends, a new career path, get our home decorated just as she loved it, and…bam. My dad would be transferred and she would have to start all over. This not only affected her but my younger sister as well. Changing schools is tough when you are young. It was a hard time for all. And yet, looking at it now, as a wife of a man that works 12-14 hour shifts and is away a lot, I can only say this. My mom is stronger than me any day.

“BADASSERY FACT #5”.

My dad passed away in September of 2016. This was after several years of illness with dementia and ultimately Alzheimer’s. And while the road prior to his passing was filled with hurt, misunderstandings, emotions, tears, regret, guilt, anger, and frustration, the love in my mother’s heart for this man…my dad…is still apparent to this day. At least to the ones that love her the most.

But my momma is tougher than she will ever know. And while I may have gotten frustrated with her at times in the past for what I called “being an ostrich” (burying her head in the sand), and allowing the pain to stifle her life…times are sure a changing.

I have watched her grow, thrive, and LIVE these past few years. She travels, lives in a beautiful home on her own, has made new friends in a new city, become part of a church community, has joined a bible study, volunteers for a women’s safe house, sings in an INCREDIBLE acapella choir that has traveling competitions around the U.S., goes to her granddaughter’s games and her daughter’s (ME! 🙂 ) runway shows. She loves to shop, laugh, dresses beautifully and looks like she is 60 at 75. Why?

Because she ALWAYS looks up.

BECAUSE SHE HAS FAITH.

Because she has NEVER NOT prayed.

BECAUSE EVEN WHEN SHE IS HURTING, SUFFERING, ANGRY, OR DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE HARDSHIPS IN THIS LIFE, SHE GIVES IT TO GOD.

And THAT is her most important and final “Badassery fact”.

She has lived in Louisville 5 miles down the road from my family for 5 years now. Oftentimes, her schedule is busier than mine. Since she has been here she has been through blood clots in her lungs (twice 😦 ), a major car accident, the loss of my dad, no contact with my older sister and her children, and the death of extremely close friends. And where is she right now?

In another city. At a choir competition with a group of talented, incredible women that love her for the AMAZING woman that she is. At 75 years young my momma is embracing this life for all it’s worth.

And THAT is why she is a complete and utter BAD A$$ in my eyes. Hey momma…I pray that when I am 75, if God blesses me with those years, I can be HALF of the woman that you are. You are inspiring, stunningly beautiful, have a heart of gold, honest (sometimes to the point that I want to zip your non aging lips lol), and I as your daughter couldn’t be prouder of who you are and all you have done for your family.

Now sing your heart out you bad a$$ woman you!! I can’t wait to watch you tomorrow and I couldn’t love you more! Cheers to YOU!!!!!!

Hugs,

Shannon

P.S. To my readers…if you haven’t told your momma you love them today, do it RIGHT NOW. ❤️