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Stuck in the House

(by Starr Ridley/Black Mermaid)

I relocated 658 miles away from my mom and family in Michigan more than 20 years ago. While fulfilling many goals and aspirations, including rearing two boys all by my lonesome and obtaining my master’s degree, I have become accustomed to living so far away from my mom. Over the years, I’ve taught her how to use the Internet, the cell phone, the television remote, you name it. She’s never been a confident woman when it comes to her capabilities, but “they” always say that there is a special bond between a mother and her baby child, and I’m the baby in a family of seven children. Mom and I actually graduated from Benton Harbor High School together in 1985; she had gone back to obtain her GED. And I always seem to be the one to exercise the most patience with her.

My father passed away in 2015, and my mother has never quite been the same. She lost her license and cannot drive, and her walking abilities have diminished a great deal. It’s as if she’s waiting for the Grim Reaper to knock on her door. I have scolded her countless times about this demeanor. She does well when I’m in town visiting, but once I return home, she reverts right back to her ornery, stubborn, life-surrendering behavior.