Friday, 15 February 2013

79 Years and Counting

Today is my beloved mother's 79th birthday.
I don't believe it is no accident that her birthday falls dead in the middle of Black History Month.
The grand-daughter of former slaves, born during the Great Depression, so much of what we read in history books, she has lived. And has lived out with grace.
When she was born, black amercians still had to sit at the back of the bus, there were stores they could not go into. Schools and Churches for "colours" were normal when she grew up.
But that never held her back or made her bitter.
Mother made friends where-ever she went; of every skin colour and culture. She went on to break the colour barriers in her own life without press or fanfare.
When the first black Barbie dolls were released, she made sure my sister and I had them. When I showed interested in Black History, she made sure I had the books to increase my knowledge.
She has gone through her own trials with an abusive marriage, a marriage she had the courage to leave. She took care of an ailing mother while raising two teen-age daughters and did it with such grace I still marvel how she did it.
Even with three strokes 14 years ago, her lovely smile remains. The pose and grace of African queen, the humble spirit of a daughter of HaShem, I can only and pray to be half the woman she is when I grow up.
When I was a teenager and thought I knew everything, I thought my mother was the meanest thing walking on two legs.
Today, I realise how very wrong I was. In a world that would judge me, not because of the content of my character, my mother strive to instill in me a spirit of excellence. That because of the colour of my skin I would have to be twice to be considered good enough. Sad, but true. And in many corners of this country today, that sad fact is still true.
"You have to be calm, you have to cool, you have to keep it together."
These are the words my mother taught my sister and I.
May we be faithful to them and make her proud.
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