I am currently working on my Master’s defense. But, I just had to squeeze out time to brag about the person who has made it physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally possible for me to be able to do it.
I’m talking about an African Queen, Mrs. Mom.
She is one tough cookie. She is sharp too! In fact, she is so sharp you could get cut standing right next to her.
If I told you about her, you’d feel like you just got served a slice of heaven. She is dubbed the Iron Lady, has one “hell” of a right jab, and knows how to groove to the beat people. If Michael Jackson was alive, she’d beat him hands down on his moonwalk.
Her presence is a triple threat.
But she didn’t start off like that. Mom grew up poor. I mean…really poor. She used to carry me on her back like African women do, frying and selling “Gateaux” on the side of the road. See, I grew up watching this.
I heard and felt her pain, tears, sorrows, betrayals…you name it. Figuratively speaking, she’s been left at the altar several times. But she did what she could to survive and with the help of God, she pulled through.
Both her and grandma would send me out to the streets and markets to sell peanuts and other stuff. That’s how I made my lunch and transport money. Mom eventually got into typewriting school and got a job working as a typewriter. She went on to work for the Department of Finance. Being a woman didn’t help. But, she took her talents into business while working at the department.
That’s how she eventually emerged successful, beating men at the business, rewriting the rules, and inspiring a community of young and old women. That’s where the name – The Iron Lady – comes from. If kids were stubborn, their parents would say, “We are taking you to Ma Ceci’s” house.” That alone made literally “ALL” the kids and even parents in our community readjust.
She now takes care of orphans and widows and mentors young women and single mothers.What’s cute though is that kids still loved to come visit her and talk about life. My goodness, how does she do it though?
How does she make both – love and terror – seem so casual and fun?
She is a trip! Kids with love and laugh and play with mom. But, when a kid knew they’d done wrong, they ran away before mom got back. Mrs. Mom is a real firestorm, but you’d never know it because she seems so sweet and cuddly.
Listen! Ms. Mom is so loving and terrorizing that a stubborn cousin who was forced to live with her because of her behavior studied hard and passed an exam that took two years to prepare for, in a year.
Do you get the picture yet?
And…Lawd….we had our moments.
Oh yea – an uppercut worthy moment. Like a Mike Tyson type of moment. Mom and I got into it after I graduated high school. Let’s just say emotions were high and I wasn’t exactly a peacemaker then. Mom got so furious, she wrapped that cloth around her waist and well…my face was almost history.
But, she is wise too. She often tells us –
- God has a broken clock. Stop trying to hurry. His ways are not your ways
- A closed mouth is a closed destiny
- Always think beyond yourself
- Speak forward and learn to enjoy life even in the midst of a mess
- Don’t be afraid. My life is a testament of what God can do. Keep looking up and forward
- In life, only 5% of people fulfill their calling. How come only 5%? Because they chose to pay the price. Stick it out and it will be better for you too
- Ahhh…don’t worry about what people say. Let them talk. They talked about me too. Where are they now? Be strong and courageous
- When you are in a place where you are not in control, be humble and respectful. Take whatever “shit” is given to you. You have your own time and your “own” is on the way.
There is more to tell. But, let me finish preparing this defense. Let me do “us” both one and make her proud. After all, I’m her son.
And to you Almighty God –
Cause the works of my hands to prosper so that I can honor her even as I live to glorify you, in Jesus name. Amen!
I love you mom.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY