I will be celebrating a birthday soon. Who could have predicted that a congenital problem would flare and lead to major surgery? Details another time. The day after surgery I called my mother to give her the details.
I started with “Mom, I am fine, but I had to have surgery yesterday.” Mom. “Oh no, are you alright. Do I need to come?” I reassured her I was fine. To lighten the moment, I reminded her of my problem as a child. You see I was always known to just start vomiting after meals. Sometimes it happened in the car so I was labeled and on each car ride I had to have a large can so I could throw up in it. Thank God for leather seats. I also had to have a large towel in the car.
I vomited at Kindergarten, so I had to carry an extra outfit every day. I was labeled the picky eater, so it was always exciting for everyone when I ate new foods. It is amazing how children can adjust to physical conditions. I think I avoided foods that could have exacerbated the problem. You see, I now know I had a congenital band that was the cause of all those episodes of vomiting.
I told my Mother. I am not sure if she had a slight twinge of guilt, but I reassured her that it would not have been found. Especially back then. I grew up in Birmingham and let’s face it there was not access to good healthcare for African Americans at that time. Also, the cost structure was different. Surgery would have been too costly and even dangerous.
“Don’t post it on the Family Reunion page.”
“Of course not.”
“I am going to the reunion meeting and I will tell your cousins and aunts”
“I am going to call your sisters now and then I am going to just fall out on the floor”
“Mom I am fine, don’t do that”
“Yes, I will call your sisters and then fall out on the floor”
I talked to her the next day and she was fine. She updated me on the meeting and the family gossip. She made me laugh so hard, I finally started to feel better. I had had a rough night. We are so resilient. It is based on love and faith. I know I am loved and that just makes me stronger and keeps me going. I love my Mother. She is the rock of our family. My sisters also called that morning and we continued the laughs and love.
“My mother is so full of joy and life. I am her child. And that is better than being the child of anyone else in the world.”