June Howes Stradford, you are the best Mother

To mom~
I want to thank the woman in my life for who I am…my mother.

You have made me to the most aware of what life is…

you taught me to see, to plan, to know colors and love design…

alternative life styles and a love of the differences in the world that make it so wonderful.

Allowing me to experiment with things while under your deep watch.

Letting me try things that may or may not have been the right thing, or thought through…

so that I would learn the truth there in.

You have been the most astounding example of wonderful motherhood,

successful womanhood and a trail blazer crossing the color line

and marrying a black man when it was still illegal in the U.S.

You accepted my decisions even though I didn’t think hard enough to have come up with the final ideal,

but to learn from stubbing my toes enough to take the right path,

including those around the world that led me to where I am happily today.

No fear of solitary time, no pressure when it’s time to accept major responsibilities,

no serious discipline when I made the wrong turn,

because you knew in the end I’d appreciate the reasons why and understand

how to not redo in the future the same mistakes.

And to give thanks for the right paths I did take.

I love you and am you.

Your gentleness saved me from the punishment belt,

your guidance took me off the typical path,

your creativity led me to the arts,

your bravery allowed me to dive into the deep end and learn first hand.

Your trust gave me the confidence to take the road less traveled

that led me to a life of success, joy and happiness and centeredness.

My presence makes you happy,

you smile and tell me dozens of times a day that you love me.

We kiss 50 times a day.

I have watched you everyday that I’m here in California

and yesterday was a turning point.
I have been stoic these past weeks.

Bringing in special food, telling you stories,

making you remember past times.

But the emotional rug has been pulled out from under me.

I’m in a place I never envisioned.

Life without you.

Of course we all know that given life

we are given the understanding that this would not last forever.

But to go through it face to face with the one you love

and the one who has loved you unconditionally is unbelievably heartbreaking.

And today it’s worse.

Weeks ago you could walk and sometimes feed herself.

Now all that’s finished.

Your voice is all but gone,

your eyes don’t seem to see what’s in front of you

but call to your mother as if she’s at the foot of the bed.

You ask me if you can go.

The doctor said to tell you that you could go,

because you are holding on for me and Leslee.

I’m telling you even though you are sleeping that you can go…

I want you to know what an amazing woman you are….

Being without you is something I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around.

I’m a senior citizen and lucky to have had you for more than my 60 years.

The blessing is that I had you way longer than I will be without you.


About What The Traveler Saw

What The Traveler Saw is what I want to share with you. I amass goods from around the world that represent the countries I visit. I no longer have a shop but I am encouraging all to join me on the trips we took before and the new ones ... Come See, What The Traveler Saw. This is how I see my world... http://www.flixxy.com/wonderful-world-david-attenborough.htm I find myself at a time in my life that I am focused now on seeing how gifted my life is, how healthy I still am and how aware I am of my strengths and weaknesses. My loves are clearer to me after having a celebrated life of lots of good and a bit of bad. But, that just gave me the insight that I have worked with up to now. Come on...Let's see what's in the world we live in!


  1. Here in London awake at dawn you and your mother came into my mind very strongly so much so that I thought I’d go online and search for you. First I went to check my email and this your post was at the top, the first I have received one from you as I just signed up last month unknown to you.

    Muhammad said, “The arwah – which is translated as ‘spirits’ or ‘souls’ – are a gathered host, and if there is meeting in the Unseen there will be recognition in the Seen.”
    This is the realm of separation, the unseen is gatheredness, All the worlds are here, and we are with those we love, both the dead and the living, though we are not conscious of it.
    AL-Ghazali says what distresses those who have died is that they cannot console the living who grieve for them to let them know they are OK in the care of a generous Lord, so we should rejoice and celebrate the gift of life and how He is the One who brings the hearts together and gives us family and friends who endure through the rough and the smooth.
    It is eighteen years since I met your mother, Leslee, Mary and yourself and only two days ago I mentioned your mother to a young black woman who comes from a very poor area of North London. Sidi Ali al Jamal of Fas said,”As you turn to face the Universe, so the Universe turns to face you” and I told this young woman about your mother and how she had opened an interior design business and how all the great black singers had come to her. So she should decide what she has passion for and go for it!
    Muhammad said, “Act for you were prepared for that which you were created for.”
    Such is the miracle of life. So tell your mother Angus Abdul Mumin remembers you as a light and sends his greetings, I think of you and Leslee every time I meet and talk with a Sikh on account of Charan Singh, so pure Love embraces all and transcends time, OM TAT SAT.

    Our late mutual friend Najib said the word ‘Arwah’, singular ‘Ruh’ , can’t be translated as ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ suggests something material, whereas in al-Qur’an: “They ask you about the Ruh: it comes with the Command of my Lord. And knowledge of it they have been given but a little.” It is that which moves us, animates us, gives us life. No matter what name.

    From our source, we begin
    and in return, seek origin.
    A drop of light
    in a glistening sea,
    endowed lucidity,
    and cast into a frail form,
    painfully small,
    born to bear the burden
    of our secret.

  2. Hi Laurel
    Has your mother passed on? If so, may she rest in peace. I would like to contact you by email but don’t have your email address with me, Can you please send it to me? I will hold off writing anything more via this site.
    Love to you, Leslee and Mary. I have not forgotten any of you.


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