Sometimes when I open my mouth my mother comes out.
Lawd! That lady knew she had the tongue of fire. She was never one to physically discipline. But them words. Them words. Never profanity, near put downs, never insults. Just a metaphor and some imagery mixed in and she got her point across.
I remember wearing anklets in college. She caught me one day when I forgot to take it off. Her snarky remark was something about not knowing she raised a slave for a child. That was it. And she kept it moving.
In their youth, my aunt, her younger sister, told her something that obviously didn’t make sense. Mamman’s response, “Ki es ce manman istwa sa?” Who is the mother of that story?
My dad, the macho and stern one in the bunch, the resident cusser, would lay low and grumble when she got him. He had no snappy come back when she was done with him. I used to feel bad for him. He wore himself out disciplining us. And all Mamman had to do was say a word and we was right back in line.
I miss that lady. I miss our talks, our arguments, our silence. She didn’t mince words and with such an extensive vocabulary in three languages she didn’t waste her time on foolery.
I get her “frekaness” her freshness, her sarcasm, wisdom, and wit. I get her impatience for ignorance, her low tolerance for foolery. I own it like a favorite blanket cause it’s what she left me. What she bequeathed me.