To You Mama

In Loving Memory of My Mother

I miss you Christine James Copeland. I miss you so much sometimes I can barely stand it. It’s been seven years and it doesn’t matter. It seems as if everything reminds me of the mother I don’t have anymore. Not only did you create me, you taught me what it means to be a mother myself, a daughter, a strong black woman. You taught me how to survive the pain, the struggle, and the inherent injustice of being a black woman in this society, and how to do so with pride and dignity. You were and still are my hero mama.

As I write this, my eyes are tearing up and I am trying to keep me fingers steady. “I can get through this I am thinking,” but really, I wish I didn’t have to. I find myself telling anyone, every chance I get, to cherish their mother because you only get one; and I mean it. It sill drives me crazy to see people take having their parent(s) alive and well for granted because it’s a gift. YOU were a gift. I think I always knew you were. I remember as a young child thinking that I would just die if you weren’t with me, if I lost you somehow. This feeling was so strong in me, that I remember trying desperately not to step on cracks on the street because I truly believed that it would break your back. I also remember you laughing and saying “Girl, stop worrying about those cracks, I ain’t going nowhere,” when you finally noticed what I was doing.

I remember the terrible nightmares of being without you until finally one day I told you how I felt. On that day I said, “Mama, I would die without you I wouldn’t know what to do,” and you saying in response, and with that beautiful smile of yours, “If I passed away I want you to live baby, live for me.” Well, mama, I am taking your advice, I’m living, but it’s not the same and it’s damn sure not easy. In fact, it’s much harder than I ever knew it would be. I am not angry at God anymore for taking you away. I know you were tired. I know you were too just good for this world. I just wish you could have stayed a little while longer.

I want you to know mama, that it has, and continues to be, an honor being your daughter, and that I am proud and truly grateful to God for the opportunity. I pray every night that I see you again and that you knew how much I loved you. I will always love you mama, until we meet again.

Your Loving Daughter,


Latagia Copeland-Tyronce, MSW, CADAS, is a social justice advocate and writer/blogger whose work has been featured in BlackMattersUs and Rise Magazine. Follow Latagia on Twitter, Quora, and Facebook.