I used to joke that my parents were the original Black hippies. Today marks nine years since my mother decided this rock we call Earth was just too small to contain her. The morning after she decided to depart this space, I had to fly home to Chicago to make arrangements with my Papa and on the way to the airport I found myself playing Lynard Skynard and for some reason this song spoke to me…in many ways my mother was the ultimate free spirit and free bird. She lived life on her terms and if it couldn’t be her way, she wasn’t having it. Many tears have been shed since she left us and many laughs. I still get melancholy when I think of her but it’s not sadness just an acknowledgment that we will all leave this space, no matter how we try not to think of it. Life is time limited, live, enjoy it and maximize it.