The lady standing beside me in the picture above is the person God chose to birth me into this world. There’s so much I could write about her, and I could gush about how amazing she is, but I’d rather just share a few parts of me that I get directly from her.
I dance in the car. I dance in the kitchen. I dance in the shower. I dance in grocery stores, in the cereal aisle when I hear a good groove come on. I dance at public events and properly embarrass my friends. All of this is because of my dancing machine of a mother. My mom can groove, y’all. And back in the day, she grooved so much and so well, she used to win dance contests at the disco. She’d study the latest moves (from Soul Train of course) and bring them to the disco, perfecting them and polishing them with her own style. Everyone of the cousins my mom grew up with and was close with still talks about her dance contests and how she’d show out, beating everyone and then take them all out to dinner afterward with her winnings. I can just imagine her on the dance floor with her freshly picked afro, bell bottoms and go-go boots.
She taught me how to do the Chicago Step and The Spank. Her favorite dancing music is by Peter Brown or Parliament Funkadelic. And please don’t forget her main man James Brown. My love of any and all old school music comes from her. I’m pretty sure my soul belongs in the 70′s.
Observant, prayerful, strategic and resilient. Over the years and through different experiences those four words have described me and how I choose to handle things to a T. In observing my mother and listening to her tell me stories about her stint in Memphis after her mother passed away, or how she took care of my older brother when the odds seemed against her, those four words in their truest form describe her as well and I mirror her without even knowing it. There are times when I see pain or concern in my moms eyes one minute and the next she’s laughing and dancing again. She has an understanding about God and life and the way things work that I may never know until I have a child. But the way she handles life’s mountains and valleys is more than admirable.
I’m not sure if I have a specific sense of style. I like so many different things and don’t tend to pick up on the latest trends until it’s a little too late. Usually by the time I go buy it, everyone else is over it. In any case, looking good and feeling confident in whatever style I choose to rock has become my ultimate goal. If I feel good in it, I’m going with it. But it took a lot of years of confidence-building to get to that point. It wasn’t until our most recent trip to Memphis, TN did I notice this same “feel good, go with it” characteristic in my mother. To me, she’s always been stylish and LOVES clothes, shoes and jewelry (always “borrowing” mine) but as she strutted around my cousin’s house in her crisp, white suit, polished white shoes and big, wide-brimmed white hat, it hit me just how happy she was to look and feel good about herself. She radiates with joy and smiles. Close friends have told me they notice that about me too.
I get my goofiness from her. I get my voice from her. I get my need to make people laugh and smile from her. I hope that as she’s reading this she comes to understand that every characteristic I’ve gotten from her and listed in this post is important to me. I plan to develop them and never forget their roots.
I love you, mom.
Happy Mother’s Day.