Mama's Shades
Mama Liza gave us nicknames that perfectly made no sense, but we kept them anyway. She named her grandchildren: Lee-Lee, Baby, Ri-Ri, La-Li, Baby (again), Bu-boy, Lee-Lit, Baby (once more), and Tu-Tu. There were times when these nicknames were used interchangeably between my cousins and I, but we went along with it. No questions asked.

I remember one typical day at grandma’s house Angie, Gail, Laurie Lei, Erika and I were watching tv in the living room and then we heard Mama Liza shouting, “Lee-Lee, Baby, Ri-Ri, Lee-Lit, Baby, La-Li,” then whatever else her voice trailed off to toward the end of that sentence. We were so confused to who she was calling so, of course, we said, “Erika (the youngest one) Mama’s calling you,” and then we continued to watch tv as Erika humbly tended to whatever Mama Liza needed.
Perks of being the older ones in the group.

Our nicknames still carried on with us just like our love and memories of her.
I still miss her more than my heart can handle, especially today.
It’s been five years since God called her home and within those years
I learned how to be less selfish in wishing she was here calling my name
and more grateful that she is no longer in pain.
Missing her doesn’t get any easier over the years, but it hurts less.
So today I will celebrate Mama Liza with two things she loved: coffee and word search puzzles.


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