"Mother Knows Best"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
In my Speech class at school, we were asked to write a short speech in regards to "what is most important to you?" - It took me the entire time limit of three days to get this done because so many things are important to me. But nothing beats what I finally chose in the end...

Submitted: September 07, 2014

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Submitted: September 07, 2014



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Who or what is important to me? Though this seems like such a simple question with a simple answer, it’s one that took me forever to figure out – figuratively. Though I did do it last minute compared to other essays or writings I’ve done before. So, who or what is important to me and why? I picked my brain trying to decide the answer to this. I had friends joke and recommend I write about cats since I’m such a cat-lady (which I admit with pride, thank you very much). I then had to take what felt like a ten minute break, and ended up being a three hour break, and figure out what exactly is something important to me to worth writing about. My choice? A person who I wouldn’t be here today without and who I admire more than anyone… Even though she is basically an older version of me.

From the time I came to live with her at the amazing age of only five months old, through my toddler and tiny tot days, past my bratty childhood, all the way up until now – where I am completely sorry she has to deal with the sass, me being rude most of the time, and the incessant need to talk about Supernatural at the most inappropriate moments. My Meme, whom most know as either Sonya Norman or Short, is one woman I've always wished to be and have around in my life. And I know now, as I’ve grown, that she won’t always be around, but she’ll always be the biggest part of my life. Even though I have parents and I have best friends who are there for me, having someone be my parent, my best friend, my confidante, and so much more – basically having a Meme is the best thing. And she’s more important to me than she even realizes, probably. During our off days where we argue over misheard words or one of us being too cranky for the other, she is still someone I wouldn’t leave behind no matter what.



 In my early years I remember how I would stay with my dad, cry for him, all that kiddy junk since, you know, he’s my father and all that. I had to be raised knowing he was the one who brought me in to this world and that he was a crucial part of my world. But when I’d be around him and away from my Meme for too long… I’d cry over not seeing her. A favorite memory relating to that is as follows: It was summer and my Papa was asleep in his room, my uncle and dad probably asleep, too. But there I was – up and ready to take on the world. By that I mean I was determined to say “goodbye” to my Meme before she left for work. I still don’t know why I made it so important to tell someone goodbye or tell them I love them, but I always had to and if she would leave without as much as a word between us, I’d cry… literally. I would sit down and cry to myself and think the world was falling in on me and that life was over. I have a journal entry – it was actually written on the inside of my Precious Moments Bible – of how my Meme was the best and always would be and I loved her so much. In my tiny world of being about six or seven, and that terrible handwriting, I made a point that in that moment I cared for one person more than anyone else in the world. It was something I carried with me through elementary and until now, and I will keep carrying it throughout my lifetime.

From those small memories of crying over Meme leaving without a “goodbye”, I do have memories of us fighting or me being such a brat to push her buttons. I have fonder memories of her helping me raise a good twenty thousand cats and even letting me do research on them and print it out at her work. I was a weird kid. It was literally a gift of mine to tell someone ten thousand facts regarding domesticated cats and then another hundred over a specific type of feral cat. My Meme helped me to read and write and communicate, so the blame for not shutting up since the day I uttered my first words lies in her hands. Thanks, Meme, for teaching Motor-mouth Zoe to talk all those years ago. I’m pretty sure after the first couple of years you would of wished I had no vocal cords. Even in my case I can re-watch old videos or read my old journal entries and judge myself for being so odd and talking about the weirdest things. I’m glad I was such a shy child, otherwise there would be people out in the world with that one faint memory of a tiny child telling them about how mongooses are actually related to meerkats down the line and farther on you can find them related to anteaters.



"Now, as I near the age where I drift off to college and begin my life as a legal adult, I can look back at these precious memories and at the lessons learned from such an important lady and be thankful."


I’m thankful for those amazing typing skills you gave me. I used to be amazed at how you could type on the typewriter without a mistake and it’d take me all day to even spell a word without a mistake. Then there were the lessons on not bringing strays or forest critters into my room – but that never stopped me. I had wild cats, turtles, crawdads, one snake, nearly a chicken, and many more little things in my room at one point in time. I even hid two kittens in my drawers and cried one year when my crawdads froze after I left them outside in a jar. But I know now that creatures born outside do, indeed, need to stay outside under any circumstance because I don’t tolerate mud or germs coming into my house until I have learned what the varmint actually is; a fine example would be that snake I mentioned earlier.

To anyone who has someone like this in their lives, I say to hold them close for as long as possible. Even when you two fight. Even when it is three in the morning and you get sick, if you need to call them, you call them. Even when you’re the one at fault, apologize. I have friends who are important to me that I try to keep close. And though the actual term “the blood of the pact is thicker than the water of the womb” or as you false-believing people know it as “blood is thicker than water”, I believe that a pact was made between both me and my Meme at some point where we agreed to never part ways. Family over friends, they say, and yet I disagree with a majority of my family compared to friends… I still will most likely choose my Meme over any of my friends. Sorry, not sorry on that one.

Over the past few years, while my life has taken a zig-zagging path all over the place, I’m glad that my Meme has been there through-and-through. This enhances the point that she is, by far, what is important to me in life. Because without her, these years would be torture and in a nutshell: Hellish. I learned to get over the fear of needles, and she still hates them, but she held my hand anyways. I learned to be independent and that you can only trust those closest to you, like my Meme, as she has learned the same lesson with me. I got to witness the deaths of my Papa, Pa, Nannie, and our many animals, and it left her and I with only each other and a couple others; she and I live together, so technically it is just us two most of the time. If she didn’t have me, she’d be alone, and I’d probably still abandon my dad for her. Sorry, Dad. But I learned strength from her, and I learned to move forward, even if that means not moving on from something that has impacted your life in such a way. I found my wings to fly and had my Meme help me with just that. So, in short, she has helped me overcome so much and deal with things in such a good way, and without her there for me… how would I actually be right now?


For a woman so determined to do good, to be there for everyone even though most people aren’t there for her – she is brave, and trustworthy, and full of emotion. What she lacks in height, she makes up with her love and the motherly nature that all comes from her big, fat heart. She is talented musically and with her fancy typing skills (and shorthand writing skills at that), and though she thinks she is nothing special or important to anyone, I hope she forever knows that to me, this stubborn and forever back talking child would be God-knows-where without her. She taught me the value of importance. She and I both share the sad gift of keeping sentimental things with us forever, and when the time comes for me to let her go, like she let her own mother go not long ago… I will be there crying, and rambling on about how my inner-hoarder needs to keep her forever. And since I come off as creepy a lot of the time, I expect there to be judgment with that last line, but here I am… not caring.

I know that everyone has a significant other, or a pet, or a job, or a best friend to hold them down to Earth. I know that with their loves, that is all that matters. With their jobs, they would do anything for it. With a pet, you only have about 20 years together and you two can’t even properly communicate but there’s all that love anyways! Anyone can relate on my level about how I am with my meme – and no matter what jokes come out of it (I hint this to my dad and uncle) I am okay with being considered a “Meme’s girl”. I am spoiled, I am a brat. I was born and raised as a tomboy in a tiny countrified town. I love animals too much. I enjoy stories and movies. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m losing every moment of my teen years as time moves forward. And who all taught me these ways and how to be? Though she didn’t mean to, or probably didn’t consider the fact I’d put on her flip flops and follow in her size-6 footsteps until I became old enough to stand on my own; I thank her. I value anything important to me and nothing screams “important” more than my Meme does. Take that in a figurative sense and not a literal one though, because she’s not literally out there screaming “important” and drawing embarrassing amounts of attention to herself. She’s not that crazy. Though she and I both have a knack for being crazy a lot fo the time. It’s the memories and moments I love and value that I can never get back or create – I find the value of her importance more special than any non-living item sitting around my bedroom such as my phone or even my stuffed teddy bear I’ve had since I was only a couple months old.

Who or what is important to me and why? Sonya Gaye Norman, a widow, a mother, a kooky best friend, a lover of all things animal, and a crossword doer. She’s my Meme. She has so much left to offer the world and me alone. No matter how much I say it or how obvious it could be, she’ll never know just how important she is to me. 

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