Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Her name was Sophia. She was the life of the party. She could sing. She could dance. She could throw knives. She could out drink a man. She could fight and didn’t take any shit. She is one million. I am 1 of 3 of her children. I have two younger brothers. One was killed as a teenager long ago in Chicago where I was born to a teen mother.
Adopted at 8 months, I was unaware of what the future would hold. This is when I met Wilma & Mose, my parents, the ones who would mold a young baby girl, mend her slightly broken heart and save her life. My dad said they found me at the 1st house they searched. I was sitting on a newspaper covered in red beans and rice. They didn’t think twice. Their search was over.
After many years I began to wonder about the mom who had me. I always felt like the black sheep of my family. A gypsy she was, damn near impossible to find. She changed addresses and phone numbers so many times that I felt hopeless. Then came the internet and I paid for a people search. I found her next of kin, a son named Charles Nolan on Facebook. I didn’t believe it was him though for almost a year. He’s lighter than me.
It couldn’t possibly be this easy to track him. He was the only man who fit the description so I sent a message to his inbox on April 11, 2011 @ 11:49 p.m. It went like this.
“Hi. Quick question. Do you have a mom named Sophia? I’m looking for a Sophia Nolan. I’m related to a Charles Nolan that I have never met.”
He responded the next day.
“Yes. Sophia is my mom. Maybe we should talk on the phone.”
I called. We cried. He called her to tell her I found them. They were still in Chicago! I called her. She almost had another heart attack. She was breathless. I was speechless and smitten. She said she loved me with all her hear in every possible way. For months we planned to meet but on the very day after I traveled 8 hours to see her, she blew me off for the rest of the weekend. She didn’t answer texts, calls or call me back for three months. Charles didn’t show up either. He was overcome with anger and guilt. She tried to blame him for not having enough money to pay for a train ticket for them to see me. I was filled with sadness and rage. I went home in tears with more intimacy fears and abandonment issues.
Wilma, the mom who raised me consoled me all the way home. Sophia, the mom who played me hid out of shame. She was addicted to drugs and alcohol. She was a party girl at all costs. One day she called out of the blue and again said “I love you.” I forgave her. I hope my children will always love and forgive me like I will always love and forgive them despite the mistakes we make.
Sophia was NEVER fake. She was the REAL deal. I need to heal still. Time passed. We got to know each other a little better. We are a lot alike. Two years ago, three days after Christmas, I got the call that Sophia died and I felt lost again. So many questions unanswered. So many unresolved issues. I will NEVER get to meet this AMAZING person & I was confused as to why. At least Charles and I can still meet sometime. Sophia and Wilma are like night and day except for the fact that they both like to be cute, both have an attitude, both love to sashay and BOTH don’t play!
Wilma is my rock, my motivator, my inspiratory, my rode model, my friend, my therapist, my occasional banker, my babysitter, my kick in the ass: She’s my mom. She worked for the government and always kept the lights on. Both of my mom’s grew up in the hood but one got out and put herself through school. She’s had the SAME phone number for over 20 YEARS. Her credit score is great, she gives to charity and volunteers regularly. She is a pillar of the community and a leader among her peers. She won’t let me shed too many tears over a man, a mean friend or unfair circumstance. She taught me to keep my chin up, document everything, come prepared, go the extra mile, take care of my sons’ first, business second and fun later. She taught me to keep my own counsel, get copyrights, get EVERYTHING in writing and to work for what I want while making sure to provide for my needs.
She is alive, well and beautiful. I am eternally grateful. She takes yoga classes and goes to curves. She has her own house, own car, own goals and STILL knows how to jump rope double Dutch though she never learned to ride a bike. Her impeccable taste in clothes, food, art and music make her home and surroundings a delight. Her grace shadows her light.
Sophia is with me in spirit. Wilma keeps me in sight. I am protected, cherished, challenged and forever loved by two people who want nothing but the best for me.
I’m learning from Sophia to lighten up, laugh out loud, live in the moment and enjoy life. She died at 52. She said “It’s your world so OWN it.” And out of respect that is what I am determined to do.
I’m learning from Wilma “God bless the child that’s got its own.” She tells me to be resourceful and never sit at home letting life idly pass me by. She teaches me to grab life by the balls, learn to fly, be proactive, step over the “no’s” and that it’s o.k. to cry as long as you don’t throw a pity party.
I am better today than I was yesterday. I am stronger, smarter, more beautiful, more compassionate, confident, calm, loving, forgiving, more flexible, more resilient, courageous, creative; more honest with self and others. I am more determined, disciplined, focused, courageous, caring, at peace, funny and feminine because of these women and I am blessed.