Happy Birthday Love
Love is a complex, confusing sentiment. In the title, love is a noun referring to a person of endearment. The first person to enter your mind, reader, when you read the title is a blessed individual indeed. A song comes to mind by the artist known as Musiq Soulchild called Love. The video below extolls the virtue of love, how people misunderstand it. Musiq refers to the romantic love so commonly associated with the word in society. However, love is bigger than romance--farreaching to cover the human family.
In this article is the celebration of the Love I speak of, Mother. Mother died July 11, 2018, in her sleep. Mother's birthday is October 16 through 18. I will explain.
Catherine Bazin Oliver
Born October 18, 1944
Died July 11, 2018
In the quiet backwoods of Fitzgerald, Georgia in a house with no electricity laid in wait 32-year-old Lilly Bell. Lilly Bell was about to deliver her second child to her husband Lucius. Of course, Lucius was not in the room. That's not how things worked back then.
The midwife stood by with the comforting touch urging Lilly Bell to bear down and push. Hot water, clean towels, sweating foreheads were all things present and accounted for the birth of the new babe. There was no nursing team to help with the delivery. There was a hospital nearby but that is where the White people went to deliver their children. No, the Colored folk delivered in their houses in the backwoods of Fitzgerald. The country.
Joyfully came the cry of the newborn child to end the groans and yells of Lilly Bell. It was a girl! It was the second daughter. Her name would be Catherine after her father Lucius' sister. This little part of the Bazin family had grown to include another child! Praise be!
The midwife took her time filing the paperwork downtown confusing the day of the birth. She was sure the child was born on the 16th of October. It must have been. Lilly Bell says it was October 18, but the birth certificate said October 16. Who cares, thought Lilly Bell. I know when my baby was born.
Years later, Catherine used the word of her mother Lilly Bell to have a three-day party every year. Said she, "I got two birthdays; so, I might as well celebrate from one to the other!"
Year after year came the three-day birthdays with cake and gifts and funny tellings of the mistaken day on the birth certificate. Lilly Bell never corrected the date. Catherine did not bother to do it either. The three-day birthday celebration would live on until she died in 2018, three months before her 74th three-day celebration.
Love is all I have for the woman who gave me life and encouragement. She was my biggest cheerleader.
Happy Birthday Love
Dare I call you Heroine.
Life, it has lost some color.
Remembering your Valor
Your loss, my soul's harrowing
The day I called you "Mother"
I mimicked what you called yours
Respected from the core
I love you like no other
You were my great supporter
"You a smart and handsome boy"
You said in that lovely voice
God knows how much I miss her
"You can do anything, boy"
You always said even when I
Thought it tough, high as the sky
Some days that sure did annoy
Gone are you now my mother
Your ashes sit in an urn
Images nearby, though I yearn
In life, we speak no further
Happy birthday, lost Love
The first of a three-day fest
Celebrating Mom, the best
Watching from heaven above
Zipporah (RIP) and Mother (RIP)
Until We Meet Again...
Love is all I have for the woman who gave me life and encouragement. She was my biggest cheerleader. Never could I come to her with the disappointments of life without her telling me how she believed that I could overcome them because I belong to her.
As a kid, I thought she was deluded! She never thought it was okay for me to fail. She never heard me when I said it was too hard. She would say, "You got my brains and yo daddy's looks. He was so pretty. You can do it!"
Even when I was an adult and having life challenges beating me into the murky waters of despair, "You got the Gospel," she would say. "You got Afryka. I know yo wife ain't gone let nothing happen to you."
Perpetual positive regard. Carl Rogers would have been so happy to meet her. Mother was, unbeknownst to her, a perfect example of Rogers' humanistic approach when it came to unconditional positive regard. Until her dying day, she loved hard all of her children, Diane, Reggie and me. 2018 is the last year we celebrate her birth during a year that she lived. From this time forward will I remember October 16-18 as the days of Mother, Catherine Bazin Oliver.
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson