The Good Fight That Jo Lozella Mars Fought

By on May 5, 2015

By D.L.Mars −

Something stirred deep in my soul that made me call her at 5 am in the morning; it was 3 am there, but she would understand. My sister answered the phone in a panic and asked me where I had been? I told her mommy knew, I had flown to Dallas for a job interview, “now may I please speak to her?”

“Mommy is in a coma”. Those words propelled me to Los Angeles on a magic carpet and landed me at her bedside. I arrived with a cart full of flowers and plants; she adored them and always said they made a room come alive. I figured maybe they would make her spirit come alive.

“Mommy, it’s Debbie, I am here…please wake up, I love you”. Nothing… so I continued to talk. ” I brought you tons of flowers and plants, I know you love them”! If you hear me, move something, a finger, a toe, open your eyes mommy look at your flowers. She was in a lot of pain, from time to time she would moan. This was surreal.

She softly uttered “that’s right give me my flowers now” that went straight over my head. When I told her I had received a job offer from Frito Lay she said “go to Frito, go to Dallas” I mindlessly debated and told her that “no, I am coming back to LA to be with you and help you get well”. My intentions were futile.” Go to Dallas” were the last words she spoke to me, she died the next day.

Jo Lozella Mars was my best friend and earth angel all rolled into one. She loved me fiercely, nurtured and protected me every day that she lived. She endowed me with her gifts of creativity and hospitality. She taught me to walk in excellence and to always help those less fortunate. No matter where I traveled, to Washington DC, Egypt, Greece or Houston, TX; she wrote me to remind me that she was with me always.

She taught me how to cook, clean and sew – the sewing didn’t stick. And boy could she throw a fabulous party and so can I! We shared a love of fashion and anything beautiful. She wanted to be surrounded with peace and would cringe at the sound of elevated voices or disaccord amongst her children. As an only child she would always say that having siblings is a gift; once again mother knew best. She taught me to be kind and to be quick to forgive. She taught me the word of God—her greatest gift of all.

She exemplified perseverance through her seven year fight with cancer. Our Queen Mother fought with grace and dignity down to the bitter sweet end. God had mercy on her, no more surgeries (back then they butchered), no more experimental drugs, no more wigs, no more pain.

This July marks thirty two years that she took wings. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. I have finally learned to celebrate her life versus grieve her death. She lives in my nieces Kim and Sydney, she lives in my son Alex and Daughter Zoe, she lives in my sister Jackye and she most assuredly lives in me. When I really need to be close to her, I wash a load of clothes; there is something embryonic about that sound that connects me to her or I pull out one her letters and imagine her writing with a cup of coffee and a Marlboro cigarette (her guilty pleasure).

She knew that she would not usher me into womanhood, see me marry or rock my babies, so she did the best she could with what she had with where she was to equip me with values and a positive mindset to journey through life without her.

The last picture with my mom was taken at my Graduation Party from USC, we were wearing red. May 15th my daughter Zoe graduates from USC and we will take a picture in red to honor the good fight that Jo Lozella Mars fought.

Mommy you were right, God does all things well in his timing, finally I am coming back home to Los Angeles.

Debra Mars (D.L.Mars) is the Author of Death of A Fairy Tale-Embracing Life With Dignity After Divorce.  Know as the Queen of Encouragement, she is the founder of Dare To Reign, a Woman’s Empowerment Foundation.  Debra also serves as CEO of Gifted by Dezyn (a promotional marketing agency).  She may be reached at; Twitter and  Instagram @Daretoreign; facebook Death of A Fairy Tale.

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The Good Fight That Jo Lozella Mars Fought