My sis, Darla, is now the matriarch of our collective family, as well as her own. We call her “The Queen,” “Queenie,” and a few other things we try not to let her hear. We’ve gotten her queen ornaments, queen jewelry, even tried to get her to put Queenie on her license plates. Occasionally, she balks at being called The Queen, but I think she secretly tries on homemade crowns when she’s alone… and throws robes across her shoulders. I’ve not personally seen this, mind you, but she carries herself too regally not to practice.
Before Mom passed away, Dar had been taking control from our mother for several years. First came moving the holiday gatherings to my sister’s house because Mom was too frail to have everybody at her house. Okay. That made sense. Then came deciding when we were all going to meet and who was bringing what. Okay. That made sense… it was at her house. Then came the day she started scolding me for something — I’m sure I wasn’t doing anything at all wrong whatsoever and didn’t need a good scolding for whatever I wasn’t doing wrong — and that’s when I knew.
The baby of the family had usurped the rightful matriarch heirs (my older sister and myself) (Ben doesn’t count; he’s a guy and has no say-so anyway) and had thrust the Momma Crown right on her own head! Her regal tone of voice and regal words of wisdom had lulled us into a state of acceptance without our even realizing it. We had acceded her rise to the Momma Throne as surely as if we had placed her there ourselves.
But what if we really had placed her there ourselves? Wasn’t she the one who always knew how to get a job for one of us in need? Weren’t her words those that were just perfect for comforting, encouraging, advising, even scolding? Was it not she that was always right there when any of us needed something: a hug, a caretaker, an organizer, a cleaning lady, a mover, a prayer warrior, a lighthouse in all our storms?
And weren’t we the ones that always sought her first? Her wisdom for our worries; her heart for our concerns; her strong back for our labors; her love for our never-ending petitions.
Yes. The Queen wears her title well. Little did she know, we’ve had her in training for decades now.