Yesterday, I celebrated the life of Barbara Ann Long, aka, my play momma / BB / Ms. Long / my best friend’s mother.

I moved next door to Ms. Long when I was 9 years old (1984) and was always at her house hanging out with “the lil sneaky boy next door,” (according to my grandmother) who has been my brother from day one. His family became my family and we have been going strong for 36 years. How many of us have friends and family that lasting with no breaks? I’m that lucky!

Ms. Long not only accepted me into her home, she took care of me and my baby brother when my mother fell sick with her life hanging in the balance. Ms. Long made a safe space for us in some very dark hours. She took action.

She took me on my first public bus ride, which ended at Northland Mall…. On the DEXTER Bus. I was so excited to be on the bus & going to Northland. I finally got to go to Northland.

When I got my first job at 14, she became my “tax lady’ well into adulthood.

She also held a dirty secret of mine… and never told my mother! Ms. Long busted me shoplifting when I was 12 years old. Mom, if you’re reading this, sorry but you know that karma came back to bite me.

I made a love offering to my adopted family yesterday with my famed buttery cream cheese bundt cake.

Hearing the stories sad and funny yesterday really illustrated to me that you can be a big impact and have the most quiet demeanor.

Ms. Long (OK I called you BB when you were not listening), you will be missed and loved eternally! Thank you for being a force in my life and always having an open-door for me and my family to walk through.