A Life Well Loved - Eulogy for Mom

10/5/19

Dear Mommy,

You are loved. We love you. I love you. You have lived a life well loved. That sentiment of a life well-loved is two-fold. You have been someone who has adored others with a love that can only be described as extraordinary, and been one to have been surrounded by love for all of your days. You were the embodiment of love. You were love exemplified. You were pure love in human form. What a grand gift it was to love and to be loved by you. Your love has been indescribable yet powerful beyond compare. Your love has been transcendent while being grounded. Your love has been everlasting even when we thought it would end. Your love, your love, your love, has changed the world, your world, our world, my world.

            Mother to all, this life well-loved is represented by the number of people here and around the world thinking about you in this moment. Your impact is immeasurable. What you meant to people cannot be emphasized enough. How you made people feel is something that will stay with them for eternity.

            Everyone remembers you but they remember most how loved you made them feel. There is no one that could experience you and not come away changed for the better. You left your mark on our hearts. Your love lingers. Your love remains.

            Mom. That word takes on another meaning with you. You redefined motherhood. That is the moniker the masses call you. A mom to all. A confidant, friend, supporter, champion, protector, co-worker, sister, aunt, grandma, and on, and on. Who else could be all to everyone, and still manage to have more love to share.

            “I know your mom.” Hearing those words followed by a smile, laughter, or anecdotes never ceases to amaze me. Your mom changed my life. Your mom saved my marriage. Your mom took care of me when I was sick. Your mom taught me how to be a mom. Your mom was there when my kids were born. Your mom encouraged me when I needed it most. Your mom is the reason I am still alive today. Your mom has been my mom too. There is nothing quite like a mother’s love. If you experienced my mom’s love, raise your hand, and look around.

            Adjoa, this life well-loved has been a wonder to see between you and dad. I have never seen people more in love. The patient love you showed him for your lifetime, the unceasing love you held for him when he was away, and the life-changing love you gave him that revolutionized his life – I have to say thank you. Two people inseparable. All your nicknames for him, the Kwabi, sweethearts, sweetie, precious, darling, thrown around, that built a world of love around us. You gave your whole life to ensure he was taken care of, well fed, sharply dressed, and loved abundantly.

You took our brilliant, reserved, and humble dad and turned him into one of the most remarkable people this world has ever seen. You, and you alone are responsible for who our dad has been to us and to the world around us. His laughter is stronger with you, his stories are longer with you, and his love is unending with you.

You have kept him calm. Soothed him when he was anxious. Been a voice of reason. Kept him on the path destined for him. When all seemed to be lost, there you were to guide him back to sanctuary. Nobody else understood him like you did. People spend their lives looking for others to understand them, and you entered his life, and he knew from the first time that he saw you, that it was you, and you alone. Thank you for choosing him.

You cut his hair for 40+ years, cooked him food and shipped it overnight, covered him in blankets when he passed out on the couch, sang duets with him to the sounds of vinyl records, held hands, and looked at him with love. A few months ago I called daddy just to say hi, and asked where you were. You were asleep on his lap. We paused and he looked down at you with this subtle love that made me tear up. All it took was a glance to see how much endless love there was between you.

Endless love, a template for us all. True love. Continent-crossing love. Unconditional love that defies all reason, all obstacles, and all circumstances. Love that transforms you. Love that builds community. Love that creates more love. Love that created me and my siblings. If you’ve witnessed the love of my parents, raise your hand, and look around.

            Mommy, this life well-loved has been all that we have known because of you. Nobody has been quite like you. My favorite voicemail is you calling to remind me that you in fact that you gave birth to me, and could take me out of this world at any moment, but loved me more nonetheless. I would always be embarrassed with the way that you could talk to absolutely anyone, and refused to wait in lines. Stubborn, persistent, and absolutely beautiful. At the grocery store, the DMV, the mall, and everywhere in between somehow you would strike up a conversation, make a connection, and confuse me as to how everyone seemed to know my mom.

When I would visit home I would pretend to sleep when I heard the familiar screeching of your bedroom door, your footsteps approaching, and coming into my room without knocking to sit on my bed just to say hi. I think about watching Aladdin when I was 4 while you slipped away to go work to take care of us, and watching the live-action remake this year reaching over to hold my hand and sing to me like you used to. Prince Ali, mighty is he, Ali ababwa.

You changed as we got older, you listened harder, asked questions, and wanted to hear about us. I will never forget the day that you called me crying because I had written you a letter just because to say how and why I loved you, and you apologized because you said you had never really learned how to demonstrate love that way that I could. I was shocked because my entire ability to love is from you, is about you, and is you. You said you worried you weren’t affectionate enough, or that your love wasn’t enough. You said that you loved me more than I could ever know, more than you could ever show, and more than anything else. And from then on you would respond, I love you more to all that times I said I love you.

You apologized and meant it. Your readily forgave. You reconciled. You knew that loving people who hurt or harm us was a testament to the heavenly love, and grace we don’t deserve but have been gifted. Loving those who harmed us is holding them accountable, and loving them not in spite but because that is what we are called to do.

You valued me and us. You learned from and with us. You were teachable as much as you taught. The love that it takes to be vulnerable, listen to your children, and trust that you have prepared them to also live well-loved lives is immense. Being born of us is our crowning honor. Mom, Rocky, Eugene, Christian, me, and Bianca are well, will be well, and are loved because of you. If you have experienced our mom’s love through one of us, raise your hand, and look around.

Thank you for showing us how to live a life well-loved. Your blueprint of compassion, care, and kindness will guide us for all of our Earthly days and further. Your courageous honesty, fierce loyalty, and passionate energy admonishes us to live our truths, hold steadfast with others, and to persist to the edge of limits, and right past them. Your bright humor, radiant charm, and unrelenting welcomeness serves as a reminder to love bravely – especially when we feel compelled to do otherwise, to show affection towards others, and to invite others in. The warmth of your touch, the fondness of your greetings, and the love you shared freely is what will sustain us for our lifetimes. Tell people you love them, freely, without prompting. Prove that you love them by showing up, being with them, and loving their presence. Live a life well-loved daily.

Love forever, and always; beyond and further; with the entirety of my heart, from the deepest depths of my soul, with every fiber of my being I love you mommy, unconditionally, outrageously, and infinitely.

Love,

BJ

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