Never Letting Go
By Lela Tizano
Gayle was filled with emotions as she silently stood in the doorway studying her daughter. From the day she first laid eyes on Chanel her heart expanded to places she didn’t know were even possible. “Where has the time gone?” She asked herself as she wiped away a tear.
Their moods didn’t match. Chanel grinned and danced in her bedroom, carelessly flinging around the graduation gown that her mom had meticulously ironed a few minutes ago. Beats echoed through the earbuds plugged into her ears while her hair bounced
“Momma, please! Don’t start getting mushy on me.” She rolled her eyes and let out a sigh of frustration when her mom grabbed a tissue and sat on the bed.
“Have a seat.” She ordered as she patted the empty spot next to her.
“Really, Momma? I don’t have time. My girls are on their way. You gotta let me go.”
“Chanel Marie Brown sit down for one minute.”
“Oh no, she called me by my government name.” She mumbled, as she dragged herself to the bed and plopped down next to her mother.
“In a few hours, when you walk across that stage and get that piece of paper I want you to know that this is only the beginning. Promise me that you will take advantage of every opportunity that God hands you.”
Chanel shifted her position on the bed as she noticed the way her mother looked at her – so serious, so sincere. “Ok, Mom. I will.”
“That’s very important to me, Chanel. I didn’t have the opportunities you have. I never went to college and I had to work hard all my life. But that didn’t matter to me because you were worth it. Your generation is different though. You are not used to working hard like we had to. “
Chanel’s thoughts were interrupted as she peeked over her mother’s shoulder, out of the window and noticed her friends driving up.
As if her mom had eyes behind her head, she snarled, “and I don’t care if your girls are outside you are not moving until I’m done talking.”
“Dang Momma! How did you see that without turning around?”
“I don’t need to turn around to have vision,” she answered.
Chanel stared at her with pleading eyes.
For a moment Gayle sat there and said nothing, then she waved her hand and dismissed her. “Go ahead with your friends and you better act like you know how to behave. I’ll see you when I get there.”
“Thanks, Mom.” She gave her a quick peck on the cheek, grabbed her cap and gown and ran out of the door.
Moments later, Gayle scanned the auditorium and spotted Chanel on stage among a host of graduates. Chanel had been watching her since she walked in. Her mom blew her a kiss and Chanel motioned like she caught it in the air.
With their eyes locked on one another Gayle lightly patted her chest. Ever since she was a little girl this was her sign to tell her daughter that she loved her.
Chanel looked away and dabbed the corner of her eye.
Finally, her name was called. She walked across the stage and got the piece of paper that would gain her a level of respect in the world. And her mother was proud.
Chanel was a good child. She had never given her mother one ounce of trouble and for that she was grateful. Without scholarships Gayle never would have been able to afford college with her income. But God made a way, throughout their whole lives, He always made a way.
Weeks passed quickly, and the time had come for Chanel to enter the next phase of her life.
Proverbs 22:6 states “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” That scripture had become Gayle’s saving grace. All her years of training, teaching and sacrificing would soon be tested. She believed God’s word and depended on it to come to pass. Now it was time to put her faith into action.
“Well Momma,” Chanel stood with her suitcase in her hand. “It’s time.”
Gayle tried to be strong, but her tears had their own plans. She couldn’t contain them, and Chanel couldn’t contain hers either. Their moods matched.
“Momma, I will be fine. God’s got His hands on me. I remember everything you taught me, you gotta let me go.” She managed to say between sobs.
Just before walking out of the door Chanel looked over her shoulder and caught a glimpse of her mother standing there watching her. “How long are you going to keep watching me?” Chanel asked.
“For as long as God allows.” Her voice cracked.
“Thank you, Momma, for everything.” Chanel wrapped her arms around her mother then solemnly walked out.
“It was my pleasure.” Gayle replied softly as she stared at the closed door.