Monday was a day off, but as Tuesday approached, something about this week was off for several reasons, now on Thursday, October 12th, it all makes sense. I now remember.
It has now been three long, complicated, empty, and tough years since I lost my rock, my friend, my champion, and my mother, Sheila A. Lee. Sheila was lost to Covid-19 on October 12th, 2021. That day burns deep in my mind, heart, and soul as I reflect on the gravity of that phone call. I go numb thinking about that exact moment, and I would never wish that burden, and pain upon my worst enemy.
Over the last three years, I have had moments to celebrate, cherish, and laugh, more so than moments to cry. As I reminisce and reflect on what my mother gave me as a gift of love, sacrifice, and family, I find myself wanting to ask her so many questions:
How do you make hot-water cornbread like Grandma Carrie did?
How do you brush Vivian's hair in a way that does not make her scream bloody murder?
When do you know when to put up your Christmas tree?
Could you give me just one more hug and kiss?
How long do you let a dirty pot soak in the sink before you wash it?
What do you do when you don't know what to do?
When should you stop allowing your kids to use their favorite word, poop?
What are you and Dad doing together these days?
How do I get over missing you?
Can you give me a sign that you are seeing and hearing all this?
These questions range from the mundane and straightforward to the more spiritually-based. But I find myself asking these questions in the quiet morning commutes to work on my bike, during a quick walk around the block, or looking at my kids as they argue over who should take the second shower as they prepare for bed.
In pursuing life's answers, I draw strength from my roles as a husband, a friend, and a father to my cherished family: Lauren, Vivian, and Grayson. As a husband, I offer unwavering support, as a friend, I provide comfort and companionship, and as a father, I serve as a guiding presence. This journey of self-discovery is rooted in a deeper sense of purpose, not just for myself, but also in forging a legacy of love and wisdom for my family.
Mom, I can figure things out without you being directly here with me, but I hope you're proud of what I've done thus far in my journey.
I love you, and please tell Dad I will keep working hard.