Three solid memories will forever be cemented in her heart to remember the importance of March 29th: A son born with a full head of hair, a heart murmur, and a promise that Life will get better.
March 29, 2020, 21 years later; her son’s head is still full of thick black hair.
March 29, 2020, 21 years later, she can still hear her son’s “extra noise” (that the blood makes as it flows through his heart.) His Mother knows the “extra noise” was/is his strength.
March 29, 2020, her “Life gets better” promise—Like her Son, is 21 years old.
A mother Facetimed her son early in the morning to wish him a Happy 21st Birthday!
She fought back tears of 21 years.
They laughed with each other through cell phone screens as they reminisced over his birthdays past. His Mother tried but couldn’t stop her heart from flooding with memories; her son’s face once chubby and cute is now matured; slim and handsome. He really is 21.
She remembered the 1st basketball she bought him and how she struggled so hard to be a good coach on the court (even though she sucked at basketball.) The years were fleeting, she never got any game on the court (she still throws “granny style”), but she sure did learn the Love of The Game.
Days before March 29, 2020, his Mother was walking an empty park. She felt a sudden loss of breath when she approached a forsaken basketball court, to her knees she fell. The pain in her heart was almost unbearable; the end game buzzer rang; the game had ended. 21 years passed; a forsaken basketball court, and a promise that Life will get better is all she had left.
21 years after whispering a pure promise to her 1st born Son, she now wishes for one thing–She wishes for a redo. All she wants is to go back in time to the 1st day they were on that basketball court; If she could just get that day back she’d give details to her promise—She’d teach her young boy, passionately holding his basketball, 21 plays to ensure a Better Life:
- Play to play, not to keep score.
- Forgiveness will never fail you; it will save you from throwing unnecessary punches
- Honesty makes you A Man. And Only God can judge.
- Walk alone often, it’s when God’s voice is loudest.
- Run with it or dribble, but Never put that Basketball down; and never take for granted Free throws.
- Pick Humor over Madness. it will save you from unnecessary punches.
- Always take out the trash (literally and figuratively).
- Every now and then, choose to Free Fall, IT WILL KEEP YOU HUMBLE.
- Be someone’s Hero. Often.
- Take good care of your Father, and never throw the first punch.
- Keep a spare toothbrush everywhere, your smile is worth it!
- Puff. Puff. GIVE! And never accept more than what you’re owed.
- Practice the art of Scan. Discard. Select. Accept. Move On. Time is nothing to play around with.
- What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Some stories are never meant to be repeated.
- Fall in love with a woman who loves to read; it will save you from unnecessary punches.
- Keep a list on paper & in your in heart of all the people you want in sight when you’re taking your last breath. Cherish those on your list; show-up for them always, with a cell phone shut off.
- Develop a strong stare and use your words wisely. Learn lots of wonderful words, they’ll save you from unnecessary punches.
- Jealous is a choice. Choose to be happy for the blessings given to others.
- Wars will come, be the Man who’ll see the signs and know when to pick up his sword.
- Buy people simple gifts to remind them they’re important. And never forget that books, coffee, heels, and good whiskey make your Mother smile.
- Time passes slowly at psychotically rapid speed; Practice living a life worth living; Love often. Only hate the devil. Drink to have fun but have a limit. Never deny that God Was, Is, and Always Will Be your Lord and Savior. And never forget your Mother’s Love.
Sure, she’s never getting a redo; 1st times come and go, but they are never forgotten.
Details are not always available in the moment, some shit we simply must allow time to define.
Today, 21 years later, she writes her Son a short story; because she is a crier. And criers struggle to make sense; their words are often messy and hard to understand. So instead of messy hard to understand sobbing words, she writes him Their (Mother/Son) short story on and for his 21st birthday.
Here’s to the next 21 years, Son!
I love you. I love you. I love you.
March 29th is more than your birthday, it’s the day you became Mine.
21 years ago, I ran my fingers through your precious hair, I prayed over your infant heart, and I made you a pure promise.
More details: You were screaming and very uncomfortable with all the doctors trying to get a good listen to your heart. I picked you up and held you tightly to my chest, hoping the sound of my heartbeat would calm you. I whispered to you, “the pain is only for a moment, I promise life gets better.”
Forgive me for not knowing then what I know now.
God trusted me (at a very young age) to be your Mother. Why? Who the hell knows, He is creative like that!
I know writing you our short story is not the coolest of gifts to give a 21-year-old, but it is from my heart.
I really did experience a lot of heavy emotions the other day while strolling the park. The aloneness was very real and very loud. Silence is funny like that. I kept thinking about how sorry I was to have made such an intense promise to you. A promise I really knew nothing about at the age of eighteen. Who at 18 knows if Life really gets better?! All I knew then was I wanted you to be healthy. I wanted you to be able to live a long life, full of LOTS of extraordinary experiences. Looking back on it now, calming you in that moment (when you need me most) was my 1st Mom Moment.
Raising you alone was hard, loving you was easy.
Letting you go was hard but keeping a paved path to my unconditional love is easy.
Writing you today is hard, you turning 21-years-old today is easy.
Accepting that 21 years have passed is hard.
I want you to know that I still love you more and more and more with each beat of my heart.
You were the 1st thing I got to love as Mine. And I know it sucks, but 95% of the time I’m going to see you as my little boy holding a basketball. I may never see the Man the world sees. But I think that is how God wants it to be.
The world says that 21 makes you a Man, but I say this: If that title ever gets too heavy, I am here. I’ll always be your Mother, patiently waiting to hold you in her arms and mess with your hair, pray peace into your heart, and promise you that Life gets better.
Today, March 29, 2020, your 21st birthday, I gift you my BlaH; 21 Things A Mother Knows Best.