THROWBACK: Jae W Brown | New York, NY

Sometimes people leave you halfway through the woods.

Ten years ago, I lost my mother; the second photo is of my mother, my grandmother, my Titi, and Pepi, the most wonderful pup I had ever met.

These women shaped my life. My mother was selfless, loving, giving, and incredibly kind.

Was she perfect? No. Every hero has a flaw if you look too closely, but everything she was I adopted. I have her energy embedded in me like a well set stone in the most beautiful of rings.

She crafted me from the most organic materials found deeply harvested in her spirit. She was a woman of God, of spirituality. She was a woman of hope—a well of emotion. She could cut you quickly but was equally prepared to pick up the pieces instantly. My mother was love incarnate. She was my soulmate. And losing her on July 21, 2008, was the most painful, soul shredding, and emotionally crippling thing I have EVER been through.

However, I am stronger, I am grateful for the opportunities that arose out of her passing. I hurt everyday I reflect, and I don’t have enough photos, I don’t have videos or voice memos, but what I do have is her spirit churning in me. I know when I spend time with those who knew her well and they say, “you are your mother” they mean it.

From her wild spirit, to her emotional malleability, she held me close to her bosom and instilled in me her very essence. I have trip ups and missteps. I have what if’s that cripple me. However, those all exist in a vacuum of the impossible. What i do have as fact is a childhood melody she made up to read me my favorite book, her lasagna and home made burgers, and her ridiculous catch phrases. Bigger than all those things though? Her beautiful eternal handwriting, “I’m proud of you.” “I love you” and the memory of her saying to me time and time again, “you can do anything you put your mind to” and for that and so much more I am forever indebted.

Jae W Brown, They/Them/Theirs

New York, NY

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