Dear mom,

On January 27th, it will be four years since you joined your deceased relatives.  Four years! How can that be, when you are with me everyday?  Just looking at these blogs, in the four years the following has happened in our lives:

America voted in a democratic Black president!

Thanks to the former president (your favorite - $%^#@!!!), the country has been in the worst recession since the great depression in which you spent your childhood and modeled your life of living within your means.

In 2007, I turned 50 years of age and went to Las Vegas for the first time.

You got your first great granddaughter, Jazmine, in December 2008, and your second great grandson, Isaiah in February 2010.  They are exactly the type of kids that you would love:  intelligent, active, interested in everything, generally well-mannered, and very cute.  I might use Photoshop to make a four-generation picture with you in it, like we were able to do with dad in real life.

Your grandson "reupped" for another tour in the Marines and is being sent to Japan for three years next month.  They packed up their house and are waiting for those orders to come through so they may visit Sacramento one last time before the new tour.

In 2009 and early 2010, I remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms, at your spirited urging.

Dad, THANKFULLY, entered a Memory Care facility in August 2009.  He has mellowed some, thanks to medications and the progression of his illness.  I enjoy being with him, especially when his fun-loving personality comes to the surface.  His wife is certainly the angel who is there with him everyday, making sure he is well-cared for.  Yes, your ex-husband is the luckiest man alive. You were his first caretaker who made it possible for him to be the great Ob/Gyn that he became. You were there with him at Ohio State encouraging him to study for his medical degree.  You were there with him when he traveled with me to Washington State to do his residency, then my sister was born.  You were there with him when he traveled to Stockton to do his internship, then my brother was born. You were there with him when he started his first medical practice on Florin Road near Franklin Blvd and you worked in his office making sure he got paid.  You were there with him when he bought his first house in Larchmont Riviera.  And you were there with him when he gave us all the news that he was leaving us to be with someone else.  And you were there with me, my sister, and brother to ensure that we did not falter, that we became excellent, productive citizens in this great country of ours.

In 2009, I got my first lump and, like your first, it was drained and has not yet returned.  But I have already vowed that if I get breast cancer down the road, I am opting for a double mastectomy with reconstruction to get a full size B cup . . . with some cleavage!

In Feb 2010, while watching the Olympics, I finally figured out how to make the African Warriors that I've dreamed of for 20 years:  the Warrior Divas were born and shown at the Kuumba Collective Art Gallery for the first time.

In early 2010, I became a metal maniac, learning from my friend Kristen how to weld recycled steel.  I made some huge outdoor sculptures! Looking forward to my first welding class of 2011 next weekend. It is possible that my first Kinetic Diva may be sold very soon; I shall miss her so much!

In July 2010, Kanika African Sculptures had a "Legacy" art show featuring your watercolors and my sculptures at the Blue Moon Gallery.  We worked hard to display work that was representative of your amazing watercolor style and it was very successful.  I put together a video slideshow of your work and you for the patrons to see.  Many of your friends and admirers came to honor you.

After being totally run-down because of all the work from earlier in the year, we went on several vacations during the summer of 2010.  I thought about you when I found the Nature Cure.

Late in 2010, a gallery approached me about making some breast cancer survivor busts, but of the real women themselves. So I learned how to do bodycasting. Now I need more volunteers to be wrapped!

So a lot has happened since you passed, but you are never forgotten, be sure of that.

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