I’ve always felt this seamless connection to women, they’ve played and undeniably huge role in the makings of me becoming the man I am today. Not just an ordinary man but a man of substance, religious grounding and kindness among other mature, character-rearing things. Lucky enough I came of age with a woman I called Nannny, my great-grandmother, a woman who I met in her early 50’s so full of patience, understanding and nurturing. I was born to know her, I had the benefit of being a consequence of mistakes she’d made raising her own kids. The sweetest woman until you cross her and you’d never know that of her again. Her presence in my life caused me to know what it meant to be articulate, reserved and a scholar of all things English. Then there was her first born daughter, she’d one day become a survivor of many things all the while spreading love as the matriarch of our immediate bunch with an ageless face and dancing spirit. Becoming one my closet friends by always keeping it real, her honesty unwavering. ‘Mom mom’ my mother’s mother, someone who I didn’t get to always see growing up but when I did I cherish all of our moments. She was the first person I had a drink with, because she gave it to me Ha! The first person I’d feel comfortable enough to let see all the hidden parts of me and my homosexuality. Her personal style, wisdom of the world and toughness I’d learn to channel daily. Growing up a young black boy another inner city youth without father in the home I’d learn early on that it was natural for the women to come together when raising a boy. That’s so many of them impacted my life as I were blessed with growing up with multiple grandmothers, aunt’s, adopted mother figures. A lot of us know this story, a boy growing up with a mother whose independence was silently being proven daily. Most days were late nights and early mornings of coming from and going to work with little to no help at all. That was a huge part of my upbringing as my mother was seen by me doing everything she could to fight for my life.
There is no one like my mother, her passion, pain and fight live within me, I cannot speak that enough. I am a black man, who is strong and it is because of my mother’s passion, pain and fight. You see, I never knew that my story had been tragic at times, losing my father at 7 years old, I kind of never really knew him. My mother was all I knew, her laugh big, her cry hard and her swag is something even today’s best stylist just can’t pull off. She is quite the big deal but she’s like a lot of other mothers out there, having had to grow with and for their children. I’ve always felt closest to her out of the many people in my life, our conversations have been so deep since I was a boy because she never knew how not to tell me the truth. Some people would say she did things wrong by allowing me to go through things with her but I feel blessed to have learn from such a triumphant teacher. I grew up understanding that mothering was one of the many jobs a female had to do if chosen. Choices they make are based on being human, sacrifices are unseen because women who like my mother are mostly ignored. I watched this, all of this and I knew that my mother wasn’t the only one who felt this but she did such a great job of making the shit look good. Learning to help her with whatever I could was what I did out of love with a slight sense pity for how tired I knew she was. My childhood was very stable even when it wasn’t, I knew I had everything money could buy and that I was loved. I knew that my mother stood on her feet daily to make sure that narrative never changed, for which humbles me until this very day. That’s why I used to pray, literally a kid on his knees begging God to make her feel happiness. Asking him to make her not cry some nights I’d hear when she thought I was sleeping. It often challenged me to watch her go through the growing pains of life. This woman was my friend, me being a kid helpless to a lot of things I didn’t realize had happened to her I never wanted to leave her side. Through it all she remained strong, beautiful and her true self which is a joy to be around. Today, we are closer than ever, still the best of friends as she remains my favorite human being. I’m sure some people reading this who know me personally can agree when I say my mother is a heroine.
…….Mom, thank you and I just shared some of my book with you, here are you happy LOL
Happy Mother’s Day!
Vashon Wade published 2019 (written 2017)
I absolutely adored reading this, visualizing some scenes that I was privy to as an auntie. I’m so proud of the pair of you both, because you make it look easy….others have failed duplicating what they thought they saw. Ha!
Thank you thank you thank you I know it’s real and I appreciate you for that.