“Emmylou-who! Hullo to you!” – Mama
My mother is a great many things. When my mother was younger she wanted to be a clown. Correction. My mother is a clown. She may not have the official title and she doesn’t go around town with a big red nose on, but make no mistake. If papa was a rolling stone; my mama is a clown. My mother was the first one to make me laugh and I find great joy in making her laugh in turn. She kind of screams actually. She kind of sounds like a goat…I mean that lovingly, ma. When she really truly laughs she screams and then goes completely silent. The only way you know that she is laughing are her shoulders. Bobbing up and down, up and down.
My mother is a salesperson. There are sayings about people like my mother; “She can sell sand to an Egyptian.” “She can sell glasses to a blind man.” Etc, etc, etc. My mother would go a step further though, she would ask if she could help the Egyptian carry said sand back to Egypt, just for the adventure. She would ask the blind man if she could walk with him and have tea just to hear his story. My mother loves people and people love her. She treats everyone equally, the way people should be treated. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t heard of her protesting on behalf of people. Yet, that is also how my mother was raised. Which is strange to hear about in that time. People not seeing color or sexual orientation in the early 50’s and 60’s, but that is how she was raised and I am ever grateful for that because that was how I was raised.
My mother worked in a cubicle, a laser hair removal office, a talent agency, and a children’s theatre; but most people remember her as a waitress. She was good. Well, to an extent. If Joycie brought you the fried fish instead of that burger you actually ordered you just ate it. You know that song “Dizzy”? That’s my mother. But you can’t help but love her.
My mother calls me…a lot. Usually just to say hi, but sometimes there’s a story. A funny story. A story so funny that we’re both in tears and she can barely get the words out to tell me what happened. It’s a language only her and I can speak and I’ve spent years mastering it. I’m a Joyce-linguist-master. If you want an example of such a story, head over to my old blog and check out the time she called to tell me about the time she “accidentally waxed her cat”. That is not a euphemism folks. That actually happened. http://thelittleihave.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-mother-and-accidentally-waxed-kitty.html My mother also likes to call and tell me the weather. “Emmy, it’s cold out there.” I live in the Midwest. She calls me at Christmas time and tells me to “look at the Christmas lights.” This is why I love my mother.
The reason I tell you this is because today is my mama’s birthday and once a year I actually get to tell people what an amazing person she is. For those who don’t know anyway. My mother had me when she was young and some times I feel like we were meant to be together. She was meant to teach me the meaning of laughter and taking life as it comes, and I, well I was put here to teach her structure. That is not to say that my mother doesn’t get anything done. She can, when she puts her mind to it. And come on, she raised two kids practically by herself and she managed to always remember when bills were due.
My mother is everyone’s champion and everyone’s biggest fan. I feel blessed everyday to be referred to as “Joyce’s daughter”, and when the day comes I hope my children are even half the person their Mimi, Nanny, Ninja, Grandma, Granma-Dukes is. She is simply amazing and I’m convinced there is no one in the world like her. There will also never be anyone like Joyce, Joycie, BOP, Ma, Mama, Momma, Momma-dukes. So, no matter what you call her, take a second and wish her a happy birthday or just stop and think about that one time you went to such and such a place with Joyce or, at the very least, fill today with joy. For that is her name. Joyce.
Happy birthday, to my mighty hermaphrodite! Love you, mama!