This Changes Everything

by Jennet Posey

I thought life was simple, until I learned a word that transformed my perspective.

It was bedtime and we were in my family’s wood paneled den. I was around 4 years old and my Mama was changing me into pajamas.

One of the main attributes of that room was my family’s consistency to make sure there was a floor model TV to keep us and our guests entertained. It was just me and my Mama that evening. My brother Donnell was out and my Daddy was at work finishing his night shift at General Motors.

It was another night of me getting ready for bed until I heard the news reporter on the television say a word that I didn’t know the meaning of. “Today, blah, blah people died in blah, blah, blah,” the news reporter said. Seemingly, he was speaking of a foreign country and I didn’t understand the main point of what he was saying so I asked my Mama for clarification. “Mama, what does die mean?”

My Mother was not dramatic. She was very straight to the point most times. But you knew you were in for a passionate response if your question was repeated as a question.

“Die?”, she responded. “Everyone is going to die one day. I’m going to die. Your Daddy is going to die. You are going to die. We are all going to leave this earth one day and not return. This ole fleshly body is gonna perish. This world is not my home, I’m just passing through. We will all shed off this earthly body and have a brand new body in heaven.”

What?! I thought to myself. Man, I didn’t want to hear any of that. All I understood was one day you’re gonna leave here and to make matters worse, Daddy is going to leave here too? I’m leaving too? This isn’t an option?

Now this lady isn’t here. Neither is my Dad. I suppose the little girl in me is like woooooooooooow, so she was for real about this whole dying thing. For so long, I saw her as an immortal person who never gets old. Who never died, but she did and it was horrible. I’m on this side of life without her and my Dad. The two people who truly loved me.

I guess the comfort I find in life now is realizing that this whole thing is temporary. We are like plants that bloom in spring and wither by the first frost. Our time is finite. Dying is real.

I just hope that I live to my fullest potential as if she were still here. I must realize that it’s not my achievements or my accolades that make me special, but me simply feeling as accepted and loved in any room as if my Mama was there.

As far as that word “die” goes. I guess we all have to leave this earth one day.

This changed my perspective on life. Honestly, this changes everything.

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