The Second Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me

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By Trena Elizabeth Morton, guest blogger

Every Sunday and when Mama Chris had to speak before the church, she always began with “first give honor to God whom is the head of my life.” The bad ass in us children would mockingly giggle at the repeated phrase which would become one of her many great trademarks as a true soldier for Christ.  Mama Chris is now resting with the head of her life, but the testimonial preface lives on.  And once I truly established my own personal relationship with God, I adopted the same code.  So, with my chest poked out and head held high – FIRST, I give honor to God whom is the head of my life.

I am often asked and nearly encouraged to agree if being a mother is the best thing that ever happened to me.  The answer is unapologetically no.  I love my son and all aspects of my new role. However, without the best thing that ever happened to me, being a mother would never be possible.  I have no qualms in stating that falling in love with God first and making Him the head of life supersedes all things.  It was His grace that got my son, “Traf”, safely here.  It was His Word that carried me through the baby blues and harsh blows of being a single mother.  We thanked God for each day Traf woke up kicking during gestation, and continue to thank Him for every morning we see together.  God is and will always be the best thing that ever happened to me, and I am prayerful that Traf will grow up with the same foundation.

Now on to the second best thing that ever happened to me…

Being a mother was never high on my priority list.  I had always been indifferent about parenthood.  When asked if the role was for me, I had my stock answer:  “I would not mind, but would not die if life suggested otherwise.”   I dodged the pregnancy bullet with great care for many reasons, but mostly because I LOVED my life.  I enjoyed traveling the world, accomplishing personal career goals, and being footloose and fancy.  The adventures the art of courtship brought, pleasures of having an income restricted to me and only me, and the ability to move my feet in whatever direction I chose did not yield any need to change up my path.  I loved being super aunt and godmother to all the little souls that filled my heart. I did not have regrets from my childhood that I needed to restore with offspring. No unconditional love voids I needed filled. God gave me the greatest love a long time ago. My parents & village filled in every pertinent gap.  My drive and life’s lessons made every fear irrelevant.  Hear me when I say, I was GOOD!

But then, it happened.  My clockwork body was all thrown off, paired with a missed period, and for the very first time in my life I was faced with the possibility of “oops.”  I remember urinating on the stick vividly, and getting the instant positive result met with a negative reaction.  Not me, not now, not like this, and for the love of God – NOT with him!  Damn. Damn. And more damn.  The noise of “how” and “why” echoed loudly in my head.  Close friends told me to abort.   Mentors attempted to overshadow my decision with shame.  I found myself in a mental whirlwind questioning my ordered steps like never before.  I defaulted to the only thing I knew best and prayed to God to see me through.  With clarity near, the co-signature of my mother completely stroked my confidence with these words “You are MY child.  I built you strong.  You will get through this.  You can and I mean you WILL.  Now, get my grandbaby here!”

WE play the cards that we are dealt and play the hell out of every hand. Period.

To my son, my Traf, understand that you made it through birth control, six fibroids, advanced pregnancy age, and placenta previa.  I was told if I pulled this off, it would be uncomfortable.  My first trimester proved this to be true.  Vaginal delivery was practically out of the question.  I bled daily due to the anatomical threats my body possessed, which had me profusely checking to make sure it was “the right red” and I had not miscarried.  The smallest level of activity landed me under physician care and in bed.  Yet you were fighting for me, and you deserved the same in return.

We continued the fight.

By my second trimester, it was confirmed I would walk this journey sans partner.  This fact sent my surging hormones to unstable levels.  The lack of emotional support and abandonment from a ten-year “friendship” (quotes intended) hurt like hell.  There were days the frustration of staying strong and charging through brought me to my knees.  Which was always the prime position to break out my knee pads and pray.

We continue to fight.

By homestretch, several of the fibroids shrank and all were positioned to pose no real threats.  The placenta previa corrected itself.  Cesarean delivery was overruled, and we were prepping for your vaginal entry to the world.  Each visit to the OB and Specialist proved a healthy, developing baby boy.  Heart beat strong.  An outlier on the growth chart.  You were cooking and kicking to perfection.  With my penguin walk and swollen feet, we were in the clear.

We are winning this fight.

And we won.

On May 28, 2017, I pushed you into this world with everything you and I needed beside and for us.  I picturesquely remember our first skin-to-skin contact where you placed your hand down on my chest and pushed your tiny head up with all your might to look me in the face.  You were such a beautiful baby.  With your grey eyes, head full of silky coal-black hair, astute spirit, and full cheeks; you never looked or acted like a newborn.  You showed me another level of patience.  You strengthened my faith. You taught me the ultimate respect for myself and temple.  You taught me the magic of female anatomy and the superior craftsmanship in a woman’s work.   I can thank you for maturing my wellbeing.  My mind, body, and spirit have never been better aligned.

The infamous question of commitment goes “would you die for me”?  Traf, you took these words a step further by surviving for me.  That is an accolade no other human can take from you.  We will shake the earth together.  Side by side, we will move mountains.  I hustle harder.  I dream bigger.  My every step is taken knowing you are watching and believing in me.  I love you with every morsel of my being.  You, my son, are the second best thing that ever happened to me.  And for your choice in me, I will fight and defend you until the casket drops.

Here’s a solution the to sins of the South

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By Trena Elizabeth Morton, Guest blogger

My son will grow up seeing many different people dine at our dinner table.  He has bonus aunts and uncles who are white, Hispanic and Arab American . Some are  agnostic, Christian and gay. 

Most, and I do mean most of us, cannot say the same due to a pretty little word – preferences. Preferences are what wire us to buy homes in certain communities, love the same God yet attend church every Sunday with people who look just like us. Preferences cause us to date solely within our race,  hire this candidate over that one, and etc.  We are all entitled to our preferences. Those choices support the lifestyle and company we keep.  Just understand preferences breed natural biases that we are ALL guilty of.  No exceptions.

Oppression – prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.

Close your eyes and let that definition permeate your mind a bit — really get in tune with how that makes you feel. Open your eyes, remove everything you know about history and where you think this blog post is going.

Now close your eyes again, and feel this definition with a PURE heart.  Guess what?!? It is impossible for most of us, because it is something we have truly never encountered. 

Give that reality, we should refrain from speaking passionately about what we do not know and cannot feel.  We should and do not tell someone that has been raped to “erase it” and move on.  We should and do not tell loved ones grieving the life of their significant other that “it is the past, get over it”.

Even though there is truth in the power of not letting the painful events of your past control your future, it is not our job to tell others who have experienced such pain how to feel.  My walk of life suggests that life will grant you enough personal battles; fight your own as they are the only ones you will honestly 100% relate to.  I digress…

In addressing the controversy of removing Confederate landmarks, it is important to note observations from both sides of Dixie line.  Both sides are passionately defending preferences.  Fact.  Blinded by preferences, both sides have consistently chosen to speak on emotions they cannot connect with.  Fact.  Tis is true we cannot erase a past that oppressed blacks for far too many moons.  Tis is true that such past should not continuously plague the black community and curse generations.  Agreed.  However, understand these mementos do not memorialize history.  They are essentially constructed monuments of “Southern Pride.” A pride that celebrates those that fought and died in a war primarily to protect the right to own slaves.  If we are truly portraying history, then it should be universally understood why that is offensive to select citizens of this country.

In the spirit of being solution-oriented, here’s an idea to appease both sides.  The South can keep all the statues and monuments of its Confederate heroes.  Yay!!!  However, if we are truly doing so in the name of history then we will erect counter Union statues that beat that ass to stand next to them.   Yay!!!  Because that is the true story of the South – aka history.

 Deal?!?