It’s interesting when you grow up in the country. You never seem to run out of biscuits or old wives tales. My mother bless her heart was unique. She was a hard working lady who loved us desperately. She raised us the only way she knew how which was by following her old wives tales guide, to staying healthy.
#1. You couldn’t eat watermelon and ice cream. She swore instant death if you ever consumed both at the same time. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve had both because somewhere deep down in the dark pits of my mind, I hear that voice warning me of a fatal outcome.
#2. You couldn’t take a bath while you were on your period. It was also a constant killer of young teens, at least that’s what I was told. So, for the first few years of having my period, I must have been ripe as those watermelons. I remember asking the school nurse about it and having her look at me like I was crazy. Needless to say, I soon started taking baths on my period, and I never died from it.
#3. You couldn’t let a man give you oral sex or it would drive him crazy. I’m guessing it was in the same box as peeing in someone’s tea or something. She told me this after I married my husband! I’m not going there, but yeah moving on.
#4. You couldn’t eat fish and ice cream. Fish and ice cream was another combination of things that would kill you, so my mommy said!! That’s another combination, I think I’ve stayed away from because somewhere in the back of my mind, I hear that voice!
The next thing really pushed us apart to be honest. I knew it was just another one of those things that she picked up from the older people, but it still hurt me. She got sick shortly after I married my husband and had my daughter. She came down with autoimmune hepatitis. We really didn’t know much about the disease or where it came from, but we knew it wasn’t something we wanted associated with my mother. Bless her heart, she swore up and down that she got it because she had been around my newborn baby at that time. She said that my husband’s blood and my blood weren’t supposed to mix and that it made her ill because she was around my baby. Interracial marriages in her mind created her sickness.
I didn’t know how to take it to be honest, so I got angry. I never told this to anyone, but it hurt me so badly that she could even think such a thing. In the back of my mind I wondered if that played a role into her not coming to help me after the birth of my second baby. I came down with a bad case of postpartum depression. I was having vivid dreams of smothering my baby. I remember calling and begging for someone to come to me because I was scared I would do something to her, but nobody came. I told my husband about the dreams and he really became my rock. I don’t know what I would have done without him in those months. Anyway it’s 3:16 in the morning and I just felt like walking down memory lane. Here’s a list of things I had to learn for myself.