My mother and I have an unique relationship; one that at times bewilders me but that’s MY MAMA & I love her! She brought me into this world and I remember her saying something about her ability to “take me back out” plenty of times growing up. So this post is a funny synopsis of what traits, habits & wisdom growing up in the house with Barbara “BJ” Kirkendoll (Williams). ENJOY!
The Golden Years: 0-10 yrs old
Oh how I remember these days. Youngest of 4 girls so of course I was SPOILED ROTTEN! My older sisters (Sha, Mika & Shawn) probably changed my outfit at least 3 times a day (so my mom says). Never had to cook, clean or do anything except for ride my bike, go to school & KICK IT. I was living in Louisiana then and surrounded by family on both sides (moms/pops), plenty of friends & supremely loved. At least that’s all I remember…
Meanwhile, a lot of down-right CRAZINESS was going on: Parents divorced, our 1st house was demolished (with a lot of our stuff still inside), mom was working the night shift for the differential but had to leave her 4 young daughters at home between 11p-7a. Although my dad picked me up at least once a week to go to Burger King, Captain D’s or TCBY, she was a semi-single mom – you get the drift.
Love covers a multitude of disaster; not once did I ever feel like we were “going thru” or EVER at risk of light, water or gas disconnects. Food was always in the kitchen, clothes & shoes might not have been top of the line but I was CONTENT. Not once did I ever see/hear my mother cry except for when my paternal grandfather passed away. Strong & Silent was her type. She was ABOUT business and strong-willed, independent woman of God.
Did I mention that we was at EVERY church service that Red River Baptist Church in Bossier City, LA had to offer? LOL Vacation bible study, Sunday school, prayer meeting, bible study and choir were NOT an option. Either you going with us on Sunday or you gon be outside on the porch…and when I get back I got a belt waiting for you. You ain’t gon stay up all night Saturday, then play dumb on Sunday morning. *chuckles*
When It Got Real: 10-13yrs old
So I’m a little older, bout 5th grade age. All my sisters have moved out so I’m like the only child. Still SPOILED, but now I had to work for my goods. Straight-A Honor Roll Student all the way up til middle school – got my first C and was literally flabbergasted. In my defense, I was a little softie. Never back-talked, didn’t get into too much trouble but somehow had those friends that ALWAYS wanted to push the limits. Pamela Burks was one of my BFFs at the time (how cool are we that our names rhymed LOL) and got me into some stuff. She was the aggressive, ain’t gon take nobody stuff but loveable sister I never had. Between her, Leslie (funniest white girl this side of TX) & Jasmine (goofy but my boo fo’sho) we always seemed to get caught up in something. Like that one time we thought we’d take some of Jasmine’s mom’s cigarettes. EPIC FAIL! You woulda thought I developed lung cancer INSTANTLY; my chest has never burned so dang’on bad. Love you guys forever…sorry it had to end
2 “Grown” Women: 13-18yrs old
First of all, who the heck told my mama she could move to Kansas City, MO in all this DAMN snow! Let’s just say the climate change was NOT EASY to deal with. Nor was the fact that I had become an ALIEN in a FOREIGN land with JACKED UP weather. Depression was an UNDERstatement. KNOW THIS THO: My moms don’t play – I thought me losing 15 lbs in 2 months from food deprivation was gonna get her to let me go back to LA – WRONG! I had to get wit or get lost so I enrolled into J.A. Rodgers (the hood school) for a hot second (literally 1 week), and moms let me spend the rest of my 7th grade year at Green Acres Middle School (LA). Lincoln College Prep is where I ended up 8th grade year and the remainder of my high school years. Hit 16 & got grown so you already know how that ended…not in my favor!
Home is where the HEART IS. I had to learn to love from a distance
DO what you NEED to do vs. what you WANT to do. It wasn’t easy being the “new” girl at school but moms was determined to make KC work – voluntary on my behalf or NOT.
Two grown women CAN’T live together. If you live in your parent’s house, you gon’ abide by their rules. Plain & Simple. If you “grown” act like it: Get out, Pay Your Own Bills & Make Your OWN rules. My $6.95 from Taco Bell wasn’t enough so I had to suck it up, bite my tongue and make it to college without showing up on your milk carton or ER from the BEATINGs I had to endure. LMBO (Seriously, nothing more than a belt was ever used – no extension cord, lamp, broom, open fist, etc.)
Putting the Pieces Together: 21-23yrs old
Back from college, living with some friends (Betty & April) for about a year before moving in with my ex. This is when ALL the things my mother had taught me finally MADE SENSE.
A disconnect notice is NOT a warning – it’s about to GO DOWN
If you can’t pay for it, you don’t need it cause CREDIT is too expensive
Sallie Mae wants ALL her money back + interest (compounding)
It takes more than love to make a relationship last
Every woman needs a season of singleness to find herself
Men will only do what you ALLOW them. Don’t play “victim.”
If you open your legs, trust me someone will enter them. DAMN, did I just say that?
You gotta think with your HEAD, not always with your HEART.
Emotions will get you CAUGHT up every time you base MAJOR decisions on them.
Every decision has a cost. It might cost you a little, might cost you a lot – but it will COST you.
Everything that glitters ain’t gold.
If you don’t have GOD, you won’t make it.
Getting to know BJ: 2009-2010
For the 1st time since ‘03, I had to go back into my mother’s house. EPIC FAIL! Seemed unbearable in the beginning & actually close to the end – but as I look back over my life – IT WAS A GOD MOVEMENT!
Everybody that calls/texts/speaks to you AIN’T your friend.
In life your circle of friends will get smaller the older you get.
A best friend is supposed to hold you accountable, never judge you & love you because of who you are.
God is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from him, we can do NOTHING.
In the midst of it all, God will keep you from going crazy, LITERALLY!
GOD HAS THE FINAL SAY.
The doctor’s prognosis can’t top GOD’s WORD & POWER over your life.
Everything you have can be taken away in the blink of an eye – appreciate LIFE.
BLOOD is thicker than WATER.
God will BREAK you down in order to BUILD you up.
Take some ME-TIME or you will get burned out!
Know your worth!
A man knows in a seemingly short period if you’re a keeper, a side chick or a WIFE.
You shouldn’t be an OPTION to a person you consider a PRIORITY.
IT IS WHAT IT IS: The past 26 years of my life have prepared me for a time such as this. All the times I jacked up and misbehaved has shaped my philosophy of parenting & discipline.
My finances sores have taught me to save more, spend less, pay my bills on time, monitor my credit and most importantly READ the fine print! IGNORANCE is NOT BLISS. If you get taken advantage of it’s your own fault for not doing a full investigation before making a final decision.
Forgiveness is required – forgetting is another story. Don’t hold a grudge but protect your sanity & heart at ALL TIMES within reason & in accordance with the WORD of the author and finisher of our faith, the risen savior, my Shalom, El Shaddai, and my personal JESUS! AMEN!
DEAR MAMA: I know you say that I was one of your greatest accomplishments. I laugh because I think I’m a mess. I praise God that he saw fit to gift you to me. Despite our rollercoaster rides, I know at the end of the day I’m MAMA’s baby, daddy’s maybe. You have been a friend, mentor, prayer partner & my ride-or-die patnah in crime. For that I give you & the LORD praise where it’s due. I bless GOD for you!