THRIVING Melanin Family Magazine May 2017: A Mother's Love - Page 8

Dedication My name is Barbara Ann Willis, a 61 year old female who has had a lot of trials and tribulations in my life, and I am dedicating this poem to a Woman who gave me birth and also taught me to live life to the fullest. I was born in Texas, where I lived for 10 years and then we moved to Oklahoma where I lived for 8 years. I live in Las Vegas, NV, where I have lived for almost 43 years. We moved from Texas to Oklahoma because my father tried to overdose my Mom with sleeping pills that he put in a warm glass of milk. My Mom, not being able to sleep at night because of my abusive father, she would always drink a warm glass of milk to help relax her. She didn’t drink or do drugs. My father was an alcoholic who went to prison for killing another female he was cheating with. He died in 1988 from a heart attack cheating with another female on his then wife, who was once my Mother’s friend. Thank God for that night when I went in to say goodnight to her and she wouldn’t wake up. I called my Grandmother who told me to call 911 and her life was saved. My Mom lived an abusive life for 10 years of my life, but because of her faith that she also instilled in me, she got the strength to move away to Altus, Oklahoma with her family right after she was released from the hospital. She taught me, no matter what, remain faithful to the Lord and He will guide your path to where you need to be. Mom taught me to love and forgive and be strong as a Woman. I regret the one thing Mom didn’t teach me, how to live without her; she passed away from colon cancer, November 7, 2009. I was with her up until her last breath. I was 54 and she was 73 years old. I quit my job and went to take care of her. I almost lost my mind when I closed her eyes for the last time 6 after she stopped breathing. She was my best friend who made sure I learned all I could in school. She sent me to the library when school was out to enroll in the reading contest every year. Because of this, I love reading and writing. I have written 4 books that are now being sold on because of her wanting me to read often. I love poetry and novels. I wrote my first poem when I was 15 years old to my boyfriend who became my husband of 24 years, called “Puppy Love”. We were together for 28 years before his death at the age of 42 years old when I found him dead in our bathroom. His heart wasn’t strong enough to pump the blood anymore because of his enlarged heart. I wanted to die with him, but my faith kept me from having a nervous breakdown. We have 4 children, Rodney, Tonya, Bruce Jr. and Anyika. My books are “Life Storms-Poetry of my Heart”, “Walking on Shattered Glass Floors”, Child within my Soul-Pieces of a Rainbow” and “Losing me…to You”. It took me years to finish these books because of having no resources as to how to get them published hindered me. No one would help me and some wanted me to fail. But because of my Mom’s words, “Have Faith”, I never gave up. THRIVE MAGAZINE THRIVE MAGAZINE 7