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Dear Mama

       Dear Mama (dedicated to my mama Salethia R Watts RIP 05/15/1957-11/12/1998)

Well mama all of your children made it through another year of missing you on November 12, 2011.  Even though 13 years have passed, we still remember you passing away November 12, 1998 at 3:30pm CST like it was yesterday.  You called me concerned about my doctors appointment the week before and was fussing as usual about me not taking care of myself because I worked so much.  I remember that Monday, November 9, 1998, I spoke with Harold about how you were feeling and he stated that you weren’t feeling well and looked king of pale.  He said you were laying around all day and that concerned me so I called your PCP and told them you needed to come in to be seen.  You had already went to the ER twice and they gave you the wrong meds.  You made sure you told me all of your arrangements that Monday and I was fighting mad because I didn’t want to hear that and I said you were not going anywhere.  Consequently, your doctors appointment that Thursday ended up with no one caring about you being treated with poor healthcare so they sent you home knowing you needed treatment and you laid there in God’s arms still calling me trying to fuss with a soft voice.  I am so grateful to catch your call after my doctors appointment that day at 2:30.  We spoke and I told you the good news that I was doing well and they were hopeful that the cancer wouldn’t spread from the surgery that August, 3, 1998.  You chuckled and said val I love you but baby I am so tired.  I wasn’t thinking at all and I replied, “mama take a nap cuz you probably dun ran over at that Walmart grabbing stuff for Jacari again”. You laughed and said I wish baby but I gotta go now. I said, “ok mama imma call you later when I get off work I’m going back in.” You stated, “I love you baby”. What I didn’t catch is you said the word bye.  You never say bye.  You and grandma believed that word was the final word so grandma would say, “See ya later alligator”, and I would reply “after while crocodile”.  LOL it’s funny to reflect on some of the things you and mama would say and do but it was what it was.  I remember you taking pics of the leaves during the fall and collecting some and taking them home.  I always thought you just had me out there working myself to death over stupid stuff but now I have Jacari doing the same thing. LOL Its funny how things happen.  I remember this being your favorite time of the year and you loved to decorate.  After your leg was amputated, I thought I had lost you but the joy of your children and my new son added with grandma fussing was the best thing for you.  Jacari lit up the whole house during the holidays and you looked forward to everyone being at home.  All of UHA and the CCHS basketball and cheerleading teams seemed to live at our house.  No one cared about how poor we were because you and grandma made our home so rich even if we were all fighting.  I can still remember the smell of grandma cooking and playing the Temptations and making slow gin fizz, your in your room on the phone with Judy, Rita, Juanita, Kim, or Stephanie laughing about something, calling our cousins in Indy, fussing with my stepfather about whatever, the smell of your Newport cigarettes and hearing you swish around the sweet tea or pepsi you were drinking and yelling at grandma to taste the dressing. I remember always hearing Cinnamon, Second, and Brandon running up and down the stairs with their friends and you mad because we kept stealing that Motown album because you played it everyday til Christmas.  One particular Christmas I thought you had lost your mind when you put a big beautiful tree in the living room and another one on the porch.  Ms. Laureen would be sitting on the porch watching everything we did and laughing. She told me, “gal yo mama dun lost it. She dun put the house tree on da porch”. I laughed.  Then you put gifts under the tree.  What I thought were empty boxes were gloves and hats.  I remembered Chico Ware came up the street a few days later and we noticed some boxes missing. I said did you see anyone take anything from the porch Chico and he said, “naw I aint seen nothing”.  Mama laughed so hard she cried.  I said, “what’s so funny”. She said I put hats and gloves in each box and he was wearing some of them”.  I said, “why did you do that knowing someone was gonna take it”.  She looked at me and said, “Val you will understand it better by and by”. She rolled in her wheelchair back in the house with the biggest smile on her face. Later on I realized she was taking care of those that couldn’t take care of themselves.  Such a golden heart.  Grandma was the same way so I see where you got it from mom.  Everyone that met you loved you.  You were hilarious and always had something funny to say.  I wanted to tell you that Rashaad had surgery but he is fine. You know he is a strong, smart young man. He reminds me of Second and a little bit of Brandon, Lae is getting so big and yes she is like her mama and Jane of the jungle.  Mekhi is so much like Brandon. He has a big heart and cracks me up.  He put his bikes behind my car one time so I couldn’t leave.  Just breath taking. Now we have another Sean.  He’s shiny and new and so cute.  Brandon’s girls are getting so big.  Makaya is such a beautiful young lady and still the center of my heart.  Britt is bad so Brandon says but I don’t believe it. She’s a doll.  He has two more children that I haven’t met yet but I love them anyway.  Second has two children (old people) a boy and a girl.  His little girl’s name is Azaria and his son’s name is Zayden.  They are two peas in a pod.  His girlfriend is wonderful and her family treats Second so well. He’s so far away but I don’t worry.  Zayden is a mess and looks exactly like Second. He is a character. That Azaria is my supermodel.  She runs the household and tells Second what to do.  She takes good care of her brother.  Brandon is doing extremely well and I am very proud of my Seanwondon.  He’s a fine young man and I’m proud to have him as my brother.  Grandma is still hanging on and making demands and requests at the nursing home.  They take excellent care of her and spoil her rotten. I don’t worry at all.  Jacari will be graduating this year.  You were his first best friend and he misses you. He polices me like I use to police you with everything.  He’s such a blessing to me and so many others.  He once defended a pregnant girl at school for being harassed by some other boys and they were gonna jump him. Jacari didn’t know the girl but he knew how I raised him. His friends came around the corner at school and has his back.  I was so scared but when I asked him why did he do that he said mama I don’t care how you punish me but you taught me not to disrespect women. Nothing to be said after that.  I’ve met a man that I know you would love and adore.  He means the world to me and he loves me unconditionally. He’s a great man and highly respected.  He treats me very well and watches out for me.  You don’t have to worry he’s a good man. I hope you see his dad in heaven one day. His father’s name is James VanArsdale.  God blessed me to find my love and I appreciate him so much.  I’ve never had anyone love me as much as he loves me. I feel very safe and secure with him.  I know you would be proud.  I hope you look in on him from time to time.  I can’t help but miss you. I miss your smell, your love, your fussing at me all the time, you waiting up for all of us to come on and then going to bed, making sure that you volunteered at our schools even in your wheelchair, and proud of our academics.  I am very blessed that you found true love before you passed. Harold was such a blessing to us all. He adored everything about you and wasn’t ashamed of your wheelchair.  He smiled every time he saw you and said how pretty you were.  God blessed us to take you in your sleep and Harold found you with a smile on your face.  I miss you and I hope you read this letter soon. I love you mama and I carry you in my heart.   Until we meet again….as always  “Love yourself and you’ll find love all around you”. - Val Watts (dedicated to my mama Salethia R Watts RIP 05/15/1957-11/12/1998)


I am a very adventurous and outspoken person; I am a college student at the University of Phoenix. My son is 17 years old and graduates this year from PRP. I love a good debate that has basis for truth, and I live my life to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised. My main motto is "love yourself and you will find love all around you". -Val Watts

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