A Little Bit of Me Died

Old Man

My momma was the most loving person that I ever knew. My momma deserved better than me.

My name is Jimmy, but my momma always called me James, and I’m here to tell you of her.

The first time I ever saw her cry was when John F. was killed. John F. as in John F. Kennedy.

I could go on and on about my momma. But I will tell you one thing about her that will sum up her life. And to a certain extent . . . my life . . . thanks to her. And what follows is 100% true.

We lived in the South, in an all-white neighborhood. The year was 1968. Then the unthinkable happened. A black family moved in across the street.

The “For Sale” signs appeared immediately up and down the block.

My momma was beset with rheumatoid arthritis. She was bed-ridden and in a lot of pain.

When my momma heard about the family moving into our all-white neighborhood, she got out of bed and baked a cake . . . from scratch. She was in so much pain. I begged her to go back to bed, but she would not.

When the cake was iced, she instructed my eighteen-old self to carry it across the street and welcome our new neighbors to our slice of heaven. She would have gone herself, but baking the cake had taken everything she had.

Shortly thereafter, my momma died.

A little bit of me also died then. But she lives on in me when I show love for my fellow man, regardless of their color.

God bless you, Momma.