[Kamikaze] My Mother, My Hero | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Kamikaze] My Mother, My Hero

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Brad Franklin

My mother passed last week. The feeling is still surreal for me. It's the first time I've lost someone close to me, someone in my immediate family. I've lost relatives, classmates, friends and acquaintances. But because I've never truly opened myself up to anyone, I never felt that sinking sadness that others had upon losing someone.

Death is a sobering reality. It frightens me. I'm not one of those people who says they aren't afraid of death. I've heard a lot of my colleagues in the music business, fellow rappers, who have opined about death; how they're "ready to die"; how "death becomes them"; how they "spit in the face of death."

Apparently the "gangster" thing to do is to mock tragedy. I'm sure some of them are so familiar with death that they are numb to it. After last week, I don't know if that's where I want to be or not.

What I do know is that I have no shame in saying I'm afraid of dying. My greatest fear is leaving behind a wife and kids too young to understand the concept of death. It's a fear of leaving work undone. It's a fear of never reaching my potential. My mother always had a plan for me. I in turn had dreams of what I would do for her. And I now feel unfulfilled.

A lot of folks never knew how ill my mother was. For the past year, she battled diabetes and congestive heart failure. I saw one of the most vibrant, active women I'd ever known be reduced to a cane, a walker and then to a bed. Every step forward brought two steps back. Every victory brought crushing defeats. When she accidentally fell and broke her hip eight months ago, she sunk into a funk that she wouldn't come out of. Still, our family smiled, pressed on and tried to go about life as normal as possible. No one knew. Not my friends, not my co-workers—nobody.

My mother was a proud woman, but our rock could no longer care for herself, and it hurt her. It hurt me. Although we selfishly wanted her to fight, the woman I knew found no honor in dependence. In the end, I knew she would choose peace over suffering in life. That's why she was always the strongest of us all. I wonder if I could make that choice.

This is dedicated to you, Mary Lyons Franklin. You deserve for the rest of the world to know how great you were. They must know of the legendary things you accomplished while you were here, the thousands of students that you touched, the lives that you changed. I'm still hearing from students you helped five, 10, 15 years ago. To this day, they say you have been an inspiration. You made me everything I am. All that I do and all that Jackson has seen me accomplish to date is because of your guidance. I always was and still am in awe of you.

If I can touch a fraction of the people that you have touched, it will be an accomplishment. I attempted to give you your roses while you were here, and I didn't give you that $ 1 million check I promised you. All I can do now is try to shine bright enough for you to see me from heaven. Thank you for this brain, this heart and this mouth of mine. You equipped me to follow in your footsteps. Wait 'til they get a load of me!

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.

Previous Comments

ID
146488
Comment

I can assure you that Mary Lyons "Tiger" Franklin is very proud of Brad Franklin and with good reason. And those of us who are fortunate enough to "know" Brad are very proud of Tiger Franklin and Sam Franklin for giving us Brad. This city is a much better place today because of his efforts and his commitment and it will be an even better one tomorrow. You can trust me on that one. David Watkins aka Pops

Author
Pops
Date
2009-04-29T21:52:48-06:00
ID
146490
Comment

Hear, hear, Pops. What a lovely piece for a clearly lovely woman.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-04-29T22:54:32-06:00
ID
146499
Comment

My condolences on the loss of your mother, Kaze. And what a wonderful commentary about her, and on the loss of loved ones in general. Our parents live on through us and our actions, and your hard work in uplifting this community speaks volumes about the quality of her character and spirit.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-04-30T07:18:58-06:00
ID
146549
Comment

I'm sure your mother is very proud of you. Great article Kaze.

Author
chip
Date
2009-04-30T13:13:03-06:00
ID
146554
Comment

Hey Brad so about your loss. You probably don't remember me but I interned at the Advocate as a proofreader/writer while you were there as well. My prayers are with your family.

Author
Powerman
Date
2009-04-30T14:14:47-06:00
ID
146561
Comment

One of the most visible testaments to a life are the children that are left behind. Obviously, your mom was a good woman, because you are a good man. What a beautiful testimony: thanks for sharing a part of her wth us.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-04-30T14:59:19-06:00
ID
146566
Comment

Sorry about your loss, Kaze. My mother's still around but I lost my dad a month ago. My condolences to you and your family.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-04-30T15:14:28-06:00
ID
146675
Comment

Thinking of you Kaze as you live with this loss. Your tribute to your mother makes it clear that she was a wonderful person. Peace.

Author
J.T.
Date
2009-05-02T19:14:44-06:00
ID
146718
Comment

Kaze, you have my sincerest condolences regarding the loss of your mother. I'm also stunned to find out that Ms. Franklin is your mother. This town is smaller than I thought. Ms. Frankiln was one of my older sister's teachers at Powell, and she also taught at Northwaest, which is where my younger siblings and I went to school. My older sister talked fondly of how Ms. Franklin loved to wear purple, and she talked about a funny incident where Ms. Franklin once came to class without wearing any purple, and the class was in shock. LOL You and your family have my deepest sympathy. GE, you have my sympathy as well on the loss of your father.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2009-05-03T18:17:51-06:00
ID
146719
Comment

I also now see the family resemblance. You have her eyes. :)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2009-05-03T18:18:45-06:00
ID
146756
Comment

Hey Frat, I am so sorry about your loss. Your tribute to your mother is outstanding. You put into words many things I felt when my mother went to be with God. I will keep you and your family in my prayers--especially this weekend. Sisterly, Soror Marilyn Reed

Author
miss reed
Date
2009-05-04T11:48:30-06:00
ID
146796
Comment

Kaze, please know that I am sorry to hear about your mother. My mom passed in October of last year so I know a little about some of the things you may be going (and will go) through. Your mother was a wonderful person and could always keep me in line...unlike other teachers at Powell...she knew my momma! I had to act right when Mrs. Franklin said so! Please know that your mother, like mine and many others have joined an army of angels that God has assigned to keep watch over us...they will continue to do so until we see them again! You and your family will be in my prayers. With sincerest sympathy, Tristan Marshall

Author
Big Tee
Date
2009-05-05T13:02:05-06:00
ID
146798
Comment

Thanks Tristan. Appreciate that big homie

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-05-05T13:07:00-06:00

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