Not far from the tree.

Yesterday I was walking to grab dinner before the show. As I turned a corner, I saw a group of older women crossing the street. Before I had time to blink, one of them had tripped and face planted in the crosswalk. I ran to meet them, helped scoop the fallen woman up, and gathered the groceries they were carrying. I stood in the crosswalk to give them time to get their friend to a bench that was on the corner, and followed with their bags. The woman that fell had a nasty bump on her forehead and was bleeding. This caused one of her elderly companions to go into a panic, so I stayed on the bench with the fallen so that the others could calm their friend. Everyone collected themselves and they assured me there was nothing else they needed. As I went to depart, each of the women swept me up in what I can only describe as “A warm embrace from my Grandma, if Grandma were eccentric, African American, expensively perfumed, southern baptist woman”. The amount of appreciation these women showed me was uplifting enough to make me feel as though I had gone to a church service.

The thing is, I needed no thanks. Springing to action is in my DNA, and I have no choice. My mother has been a “fight over flight” person as long as I can remember. As a result, these situations find me. I can handle them. Calling an ambulance because the child I’m babysitting is having a seizure. Easy. Running through the streets in The Village because an old woman’s dog has run away. Classic. Running to clean up blood from an accident for a cast member or classmate? Sure.

I don’t state it to toot my own horn, just to express the example that was set for me. MY MOTHER IS A WARRIOR. And all I do is act by what I know. My mother has brought a coworker back to life by performing CPR. No lies. The woman was gone, and mom kept going. She has emptied out our coat closet to bring to students at her school. She has gone to court to testify against a parent that was abusing a child. Those are just some examples that the public is privy to. I’ll never forget the time I watched her hurdle over our back fence in a single bound when our neighbor was having a seizure. The vision of her holding my baby brother upside down while she called 911 (Ethan had found one of my Barbie shoes) is engrained in my mind. One time, she actually attempted to catch my vomit. To CATCH it. Not only is that gross, but it’s bold as hell.

The latest act of greatness is taking in my Grandmother. The same Gma, from a few posts ago, that seemed to passing before our eyes (yes, the women in my family are badass). My Mom and Dad are taking Grandma in and providing her with constant care. My mother cooks for her, does laundry, bathes her, without the blink of an eye. I tell her that I am proud of her, but she dismisses it, saying “It’s just the right thing to do”. And it is, but that doesn’t keep plenty of children from turning a blind eye on their ailing parents. My mom and dad aren’t wealthy, and they are both risking their work hours to make it happen, but they soldier on.

She doesn’t know it though, that she’s brave. She doesn’t know she’s a fighter. She doesn’t know how much fight is in her. She saves it, the power, and doesn’t use it for herself, but gives of it freely. She gives it to anyone that may ask for it, and often times, people that don’t. I’m proud to call her my mother. I’m proud to call her my friend.

Patty, you’re the best gal I know. If I become half the woman that you are, I’ll consider myself lucky.

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