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While They Can Still Smell Them: To My Mother

You had four kids without epidurals because your husband said you didn’t need that. Girl you are strong. You were and are always the most outgoing of the parent duo. You held down the fort many times. Always have advice. Always got jokes. The Petty Princess lol. As a child, you gave my siblings and I the tools we needed to be ahead of the game. When we got to preschool, we already knew alphabets and how to spell our names and colors and a lot of other things. Apparently I was talking at a very early age. I guess those Mozart baby CD’s really did something.

A true Sagittarius, you’ve always been quite opinionated. And you never had a problem speaking up. You always knew how to lead. Many folks have felt your wrath when they tried your children. Mama don’t play that. I admire your inviting spirit as far as with our friends. When we brought friends over, no one was a stranger. And even if you didn’t care for them, you never treated them any different. I’d like to think you got that from your mother-in-law. She was like that. I really admire that about you. I hope I’m like that as a mother.

Chile listen, you use to slayyyy in your young age girl. Going through old pictures from back in the day is always a classic. You were out here on your model ish. I liveeeee for your old stories of knowing all the trappers and being a trap queen lmao. Just kidding, kinda. But hey, your street smarts helped keep your girls smart when we were out here maneuvering. You always told us, “Don’t be a stupid girl.” I keep that small lesson with me TO THIS DAY. It’s funny how we’ve never had those specific “talks” but somehow we still got the information. You never fronted the truth for us. You always keep it real and realistic. Made it easy for us to be human as children.

You always help me understand how good relationships work from a woman’s point of view. You allow Dad to be the man and you hold him down. You both are able to flourish as individuals and kill it as a team. You always took care of home with ease and he was and is always there to pick up the slack when you’re tired. You taught me how to do all the things they say women should do supposedly, but I also grew up knowing how to do all the things men are “supposed” to do. You taught me how to be self sufficient. How to hold it down for myself.

In your older age you’ve grown to be more emotional. I see how the actions of some of my siblings weigh on you. I appreciate it when you say how you feel about a choice we’ve made or things we’re planning. I’ve always valued your opinion. Probably because you never shy away from giving it. I appreciate how you hold our family down. Even in the face of enemies that are related to us. Our family has seen our share of family drama and you can always be found on the front lines holding it down for this portion of the Cooper family. I appreciated how you let Dad lead this family and support his decisions, even if you don’t agree sometimes. Did I say you are strong?!

I was young when Granddad retired but I remember that you hosted his party. You’ve never been afraid of the spotlight. When Grandma Cooper passed, you stepped up and planned her homegoing service with no hesitation. Always filling in the gap when necessary. When your favorite church mother fell on hard times, you were driving her grandchildren back and forth to school and other activities even when your kids were grown and driving themselves to school. And even when you got tired, you still held it down. When they switched up on you, you handled it with class. Don’t let folks run your cup dry moms.... the thought that always passes through my head as I hear of all the ways you went out of your way for folks. I’ll say Thank You, in case they don’t.

These past few months while Dad has been having issues with his eyes, you have been P.O.P holding it down. Doctors appointments, meetings, store runs, you’ve been driving Mr. Daisy lol. And even when you’re tired, you still hold it down. He’s thanked you. I thank you. We thank you. You are definitely appreciated. People make up all these stories and concepts about our family in their heads. They don’t know what we go through. They just see the outside and think it’s perfect. Never let them see you sweat.

Essentially you’re the first friend any of us ever had. And I thank you for it. Whenever I need advice about something, I know I can come to you. Thanks for never sugar coating things too much. Thanks for always being an example. Thanks a million times over for everything you’ve done. Thanks for picking Dad lol. You guys are amazing. Individually and separately. Can’t wait until the days when I can truly repay you for everything you’ve done to make me the bomb human I am today lol.

To my Mother. To my Mama. To Mom’s Dukes. You the bomb girl. I love you to the moon and back, an infinity amount of times. Keep holding it down. It’s all going to pay off. God’s got a blessing with our name on it.



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