After All This Time…

The Next Family

By: Amy Wise

Relationships can be so tricky, especially in a mixed race marriage.  In a world seen through rose-colored glasses we all get along, but once the glasses come off that’s not always the case.  Jamie’s Mom (otherwise known as Gigi), was, to put it mildly, not thrilled when I entered the picture.  When her son chose to marry a white woman she was not happy!  She did not attend our wedding and for years she and I had no relationship at all.  None.  Sadly we didn’t get close until she was literally on her death bed.  She became ill while visiting from Atlanta many years ago.  She was in the hospital for quite some time and Jamie and I went to visit her almost everyday.  During those visits she witnessed our love and our family’s closeness.  She realized that her son and I were happy; and, skin color and everything else aside, in the end that’s all that really matters.  All the “bad blood” had finally melted away.  I’m sad it took so long, but oh so happy it finally happened.  I just wish we had had more time.

Heartbreakingly, she was never able to go home and passed away while she was still visiting. We were with her to the end, so in a way it was a blessing that she was here and not home in Atlanta.  I will never ever forget the heartbreak my husband went through on her very last day so many years ago.  He was filled with pure and utter sadness at the loss of his mother that he loved so much.

Flash forward to present day. We were volunteering at my sister-in-law’s church and a little piece of Gigi appeared.  Jamie’s sister said, “Oh, I found this the other day when I was cleaning out some boxes.”  She then handed us a card in an envelope.  It was a Christmas card from the last Christmas that Gigi was alive.  She has been gone for almost 10 years, so it was surreal to have this card show up out of the blue.  In the card she wrote that she was sending her love to Jamie, to me, and to Tatiana.  Jamie and I sat on the church steps and cried.  For Jamie, his mom came to life –if only for a minute through her handwriting; for me it was a little treasure of love sent to our entire family, even after all this time.

So as Mother’s Day approaches, I’m thankful that, in the end, Gigi and I were okay.

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