Mothers Freedom…#331

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Mothers’ Freedom

It is good that I cannot remember the day of my birth, 
although since, I have questioned why I am on this 
earth; my mother did not want me she wanted to be 
free.  I understand the poverty in which I arrived, I 
still did not understand years later, when she told 
me she would have been happy if I had died.
She told of not having even an aspirin for the pain, 
and that she feared the future and afraid her that her
 life would never be the same.  Mother told of the old
iron bed with cornhusk mattress that stood on a bare
 wooden floor.  Of how they kept out the cold with raw
 cotton from, the nearby field stuffed into the cracks 
of the homemade door.
Delivered by a neighboring mid-wife, weighing only 
two pounds my mother told her to take me away, 
while saying, and “I hope that she will be gone by the
 end of the day”.  It is said that my father took me into
 his well-worn hands, whispered to me, you can live, 
and I know that you can.  He placed me in a shoebox,
 put me on the front seat of his old pickup truck and 
carried me away.  He would not see me until my 
birthday, exactly three-years from that day.
Left with a dear old black woman that I until this day 
refer to her as mother: you see I knew no other.  She
 packed my clothes in a clean cloth sack, she cried, 
but she knew that one day my father would want me 
back.  He looked at my birth mother saying that I would 
never again go away, she responded without feeling 
saying, “it would be he that took care of me if I stayed”.
The years, they quickly flew by, my mother she was 
never at home, then the day came that my father died, 
I recognized her but did not see her cry.  Me, I soon had 
children of my own and knew what kind of mother I 
wanted to be, and unlike my own, even with children, I
 always felt free.
I had not seen her for many years when I heard that 
she had died, too late to feel a mothers touch, too late 
to hear her say, “I love you so much.”  I cried, but not f
or me, I cried because at last she had been set free.




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (

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