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Zenobias Life Lessons

I was a young girl aged 12, when the one person whom I adored and admired was removed from my life. During that time, I was emotionally scarred and abandoned. I didn't know it then, but the outline for my life's future was being created during those moments that surrounded her death.

Zenobia was a phenomenal woman, raising two girls in an amazing manner. She was the only person that loved my sister and I to the BONE!! She loved us unconditionally. U-N-C-O-N-D-I-T-I-O-N-A-L-L-Y! A somewhat lengthy word, carrying a penetrating weight. I learned just how much weight that word carried years later when I had my own children. I ended up making all of those sacrifices that Zenobia made, loving my seeds to the bone, as I was subconsciously taught to do while growing up on Chicago's South Side.

Life is supposed to be the best teacher. Funny, how the lessons that are learned from life aren't readily understood until years later, isn't it? Long after the teacher has stopped teaching, or has since passed on. We somehow allow our mental selves to rest in a retrospect mode. The switch to the light miraculously turns itself on. This is when we mentally go back to the time when the mentor was telling us "not" to do this or "to do" that. We never paid attention to what was being said at the time, never understood, or so we thought. But our subconscious self did. We didn't want to listen did we? Wanted to defy the teacher. Didn't want to obey the given command. The answer is all too clear now ??isn't it? Crystalline to say the least.

Unbeknownst to me during her lengthy battle with cancer, her inevitable demise would somehow create a pathway for me to become aware of my inner self and my environment. So aware to this day, as I sit and put pen to paper, I am continually conscious of my progressions and regressions on a daily or monthly or even a yearly basis. I am aware if I am ambitious enough to "get that job" or being responsible enough to set a concrete example for my children to follow, or making the right decision at all times when the future of our children are concerned. Oftentimes, we are given no second chances.

As ironic as it was, during my times of emotional depravation, when I felt my body could no longer persevere, when I toyed with the idea of suicide versus life, when I literally had no one around me that cared if I lived or died, or when my children and I had to succumb to living in a shelter because my job downsized and I had no family around me to offer housing. During those times, I allowed myself to take that mental journey back in order to regain my strength and move onward. Back to the day, to the moment, when Zenobia was teaching a particular lesson to me.

By recapturing these lessons, whatever the lesson may have been that I needed at the time, I gained the will, the courage, the strength to continue my life journey. The Life Lessons of Zenobia have been sustaining for me yesterday, today and will continue for the tomorrows that I have left.

With certainty, I am now able to recall and duplicate these lessons to the point of being able to recite the language that she used, verbatim when I am rearing my children. I now repeat the exact words to my son and daughter when I am providing direction to them or answering a very difficult question pertaining to life, as they know it in their young years.

Today, when I look into the face of my 20-year old son, and my 19-year old daughter, I am waiting with eager anticipation to see what they will do with the Life Lessons that I have instilled in them. However, unconscious to them as it was unconscious to me when the lessons were being taught to me. These are the tools that were passed down to me by my phenomenal mentor, Zenobia.

I used to think for years afterwards; that my mother's death was pointless. I was angry with her for passing and thrusting me into to a world totally opposite from the nurturing, warm, loving, habitant that I was accustomed to when she was alive. I've learned that Zenobia's death at the tender age of 35 was not pointless, not at all. Had she not left me when she did, I would not be the courageously, independent woman that I am today. Her passing, as illogical as it may sound to some, somehow shaped, molded, and prepared me to live my life and prosper.

Through her death, I've learned that however sad, the death of a loved one is also a very necessary action. When we allow ourselves to mourn, we are able to accept to a certain extent, the passing of our loved one. To the extent, that one CAN accept it. But one day, after you have accepted the death, accepted the reality of it all. You too, will take that mental journey back.

Zenobia was my mother. You will one day remember your Mother as I am remembering mine, which is quite often. I now know that her passing is not a totality for me. She lives on through and inside of me. She lives on each time I recall or share a funny story with my children about their grandmother. She lives on when I am in my daughter's room, and happen to glance at the picture frame encircled with rose petals, that houses a photo of my mother that my daughter keeps on her dresser each day. She lives on each time I make a sweet potato pie or stuffing from scratch the way my mother used to make.

My remembrance of my mother living, teaching, and sharing those Life Lessons will and forever be something that no on can ever remove from my heart.

I love you Mother. You were a phenomenal woman!!?I should know because now I am one too.

Thank you for your Lessons of Life!

(c) 2005 by C. V. Harris. All rights reserved.

C.V. Harris is a writer living in New Jersey who's passion for expressing the sentiments of love, grief and triumph, can be both entertaining as well as motivating. Ms. Harris is currently working on her Memoir. Visit her Blog at http://www.onewriterwriting.blogspot.com, or e-mail her at onewriterwriting@hotmail.com.

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