Friday, October 28, 2016

Until We Meet Again - Michelle Monkou

This weekend marks a special moment when I will attend my mother's memorial and celebration of her full life. While sadness always underscores life altering moments like this, I can't help but be grateful for having her in my life.

Some belief systems say that we pick our parents as opportunities to learn and elevate our humanity or spirituality. That sounds awesome if you've had a great relationship with parents...right? But I often think about it and wonder if we mutually picked each other, because what were we hoping to learn in our 50 years together.

The bond between my mother and me is more special (IMO) because she adopted me immediately after my birth. My parents had decided to step in and assist my birth mother with the process of taking care of me. Love, protection, guidance and all the positive parenting attributes were showered upon me pretty early on in my life.

Words can't express fully what she accomplished in her life as a woman, wife, and mother. But here's is a snippet of who she was:

Doreen Monkou was born on June 2, 1932, in Guyana, to the late Ada Bancroft. Doreen was Ada’s only child. She attended St. Joseph’s high school and upon graduation moved to England.

While living in England, Doreen met Charles Monkou and they were married in 1958, where they lived in Balham, London for fourteen years with their two children: Malcolm and Michelle.
Doreen worked in England and the United States where she made her final home with her family. 

She was nurse’s aide for most of her later years working for Bel Pre Nursing Home, the Jewish Council for the Aging in Rockville, Maryland and in private care, with many families who required her services for their elderly family members.

Doreen loved to travel. Her adventures beyond trips around the U.S. took her to most islands in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Holland and Canada. During the quiet time, she enjoyed reading Maya Angelou’s works, O magazine and anything Oprah-related. She was an avid fan of Harlem Dance Theater and went to see their latest shows each year at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She enjoyed a surprise treat with front row seats to see the original cast in the South African play Sarafina. Her wish to see Tina Turner live came true—twice. Doreen lived a full life and will truly be missed by all.

Doreen entered into eternal rest on August 2, 2016. She leaves to cherish her memory, her children: Malcolm (Donsha) and Michelle (Bryan), her five grandchildren: Kristina, Morgan, Gabriella, Lex, and Amber, her great-granddaughter: Aveigh, along with extended family and friends.

Rest in Grace, mom.

Michelle (aka your chatterbox daughter)


dstoutholcomb said...

she sounds like she was a wonderful woman as well as your mother


Christina Hollis said...

A beautiful tribute to a remarkable woman, Michelle. I'm sure you made her very proud during your time together.