A Living Eulogy for My Mother

Happy birthday to my mother! 

Today is a day that I remember how blessed I am in two special ways.

  1. Both of my parents are still alive
  2. Both of my parents are still married

As I get older, I appreciate both of those points more and more.

CornerstoneDad.com is about promoting fatherhood. But because it is my mother’s birthday, I have to touch on motherhood today. Too often, mother’s are honored while fathers are taken for granted, scolded, and ignored. Even the Intruders cracked on dad in the song below for no reason! But not around here though dads, here you are safe. But please allow me to give my mom her props right now.

Perhaps the smartest decision my dad ever made was choosing the right mother for his children. Everybody talks about being that “Proverbs 31 woman”, but my mother has truly been that woman in our household.

 Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife who can find? 

   She is far more precious than jewels. 

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, 

   and he will have no lack of gain. 

12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

 Yea, my dad picked a winner.

 I remember my mom getting me toys from her job as a gift-wrapper at Hudson’s. I found a photo once, where she was one of the only black women in her corporate job back in the ’60’s.

My mom left the career behind to stay home and raise some kids. My dad didn’t make a ton of money, but they decided that her being home raising us was the best way to keep the streets from raising us instead.

Therefore, she was there when I took the bat outside to knock out Ricky Collins in elementary school. Yea, bullying isn’t a new phenomenon young readers. Instead of bombs, some of us had to handle it different ways. Mom kept me from getting in more trouble that day.

Mom would hold down my dad’s arm, to calm him down, as there were times he wanted to go knock out the truck drivers that called us niggas or other names on the CB on family vacations. “Okay, meet me at the rest area and say it in my face!” screamed dad. Mom would calmly but firmly say something like, “Please, let it go, lets just keep going…”. Mom kept daddy from getting into more trouble plenty of times too.

I guess that’s why I love Good Times so much as her and Florida sounded so much alike.

Mom told me about Jesus Christ at eight years old, and my life (and my family’s life) has never been the same since then.

Mom told me about Jesus Christ at eight years old, and my life (and my family’s life) has never been the same since then.

Mom taught me that taking two papers out the paper box was stealing, even if it was just sitting in there and my friend wanted to get one for the box scores also.

Mom almost died when I was around 13, and I’ll never forget the pain she was in as her “insides” fought like Ali vs. Frazier. The crying I heard still upsets me now.

Mom was at home when I called as my high school friends were getting blown out at parties and I didn’t want to join in because I knew the effects of alcohol, plus I was driving. She was my alibi for not joining in the “fun”.

Proverbs 31:27 – She looks well to the ways of her household 

   and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Mom wrote me a letter when she saw that after high school, the gravitational pull of the streets was too much for me, so she tried to pull me back.

It didn’t completely work.

So I’m sure mom wasn’t surprised when I told her I got a girl pregnant.

It was mom that was there when I saw my son for the first time, and no matter what kind of relationship I had with my son’s mother, it was my duty to be the best father I could be to him.

My mom never understood why white parents didn’t except her son, while she never mistreated or rejected any girl her boys brought home regardless of their skin color. Plus, knew that they treated women with respect because we always respected her.

Therefore, my Mom was at my wedding, when I was marrying a “white girl”…and to this day she loves her not because she has too, but because of the relationship she developed with my wife.

Proverbs 31:26 – She opens her mouth with wisdom, 

   and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

My Mom is a superb grandmother. The photo above is her telling them things that I never even heard about growing up, like her struggles in the segregated South. Tales about the old buses she had to ride in for school while the “white” schools got the nice new buses. Yea…so much for “Separate but Equal”. (see: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_plessy.html)

 Proverbs 31:28 – Her children rise up and call her blessed; 

   her husband also, and he praises her: 

29 “Many women have done excellently, 

   but you surpass them all.” 

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, 

   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, 

   and let her works praise her in the gates.

If you’ve read this far. Thank you.

I hope it made you think about all your mother has done and if she’s still alive, please let her know.

I write not to be sappy, but because I do not believe in giving dead people the flowers and praise at their funeral instead of while they are here on earth to smell the flowers and hear the praise.

Young men, be wise, and choose the right woman to be the mother of your children. Every woman you lay with has the potential to be the mother of your child and I’d bet that many of them, you would not want raising your children (shout-out to Evander Holyfield, Shawn Kemp, and Travis Henry – all athletes that forget that sex and reproduction are still linked despite our 21st century technologies).

Mom, you are blessed.

You have blessed me and my family.

I thank God that you can still be here to read this.

Without you, there would be no CornerstoneDad.

Without you, I don’t even no where I’d be today.

Thank you, and may God allow us to see many more birthdays together as there’s so much more work to be done.

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