During the floods of 93, my house was pretty damaged by all the rain. The grounds where I live shift, and as a result my basement walls shift also; therefore, causing large cracks in my basement which is made of cement blocks. At that time the basement began to cave causing the basement to look as though the walls were going to simply cave in. Therefore, I had to apply to FEMA for the funds to fix the damages done by the excess rains. Because my house appeared to be dangerous, I had to reside with my parents for approximately a year or so.
My mother suffered from diabetes and occasionally had shortness of breath so bad that she had to use an oxygen tank that my dad bought for her. Since she was so ill and I was having anxiety because I began to fear we were going to loose her; I began seeking professional help. Many times I would just break out crying as she had the terrible pain of gout, and her medicine would make her sick to the stomach and she would endure the pain of gout when not on the medication and when she took it, she became sick to the stomach. Because I was so close to her throughout my life, it became almost unbearable to think about being here without her. Since my dad worked at nights, I would climb in bed with my mother, perhaps trying to hold on to her as long as I could.
At that time, I didn’t realize she was having shortness of breath at night and needed to use her oxygen tank to get her breath. She would ask to use my asthma inhaler to get her breath. Because she didn’t want to stress me out, she would not use her oxygen tank and perhaps suffered it out throughout the night. To show you how God works, one night I told myself that I needed to stop climbing in bed with my mom and sleep in the other bedroom, and this was because I felt I was really too old to be sleeping beside my mother.
Many nights, I would wake up to the sound of my mother using her oxygen tank; trying to get her breath. She was unaware that I could hear her. I realized at that point that it was a good thing that I decided to move to another room because now when she woke up in the middle of the night, she could use her oxygen tank without the fear of stressing me out. I always knew that she was the kind of person who would suffer through illnesses rather than to let on to us that she was ill.
I always marveled as to how, even though she was ill, she would single handedly fix a large Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family so we could all enjoy a wonderful meal together. Cooking was also one of her strong points. She made the best corn-bread dressing ever. Now when Thanksgiving comes around, I am the one who fixes the meal when I'm not invited somewhere else. It is not an easy task and I am fairly healthy, thank God. Throughout her life, my mother endured many hardships from contacting TB of the bone, a “wicked step-mother,” an unfaithful husband who remained unfaithful throughout the marriage and who was abusive during the beginning of their marriage. Although my dad was all of that, he was a good dad, who took very good care of us, and somehow managed to raise us in a Spiritual setting. We (my brother and I) never knew how hurt, unhappy and how much she suffered mentally and physically because she was so strong and because of her love for us, she was able to keep us from seeing how badly she was hurting/suffering.
On June 18, 1995, my worse fear came to light. My parents had gone to a church camp in Kansas City, Mo. After a week or so of Spiritual blessings, they started to return home. They were driving a truck and pulling a trailer. Just 40 miles out of our city, something happened and the truck and trailer turned over and because my parents did not have on their seatbelts, they both went through the window and somehow the truck killed my mother. At times, I can still hear those words as my son told them to me. “We lost grandma on the highway today.” She was the best mom God could give you as we always knew how much she loved us and took much time with us and taught us a lot about life in general and along with my dad, she gave us the love of God. That’s one of the many reasons why I was so close to her.