Reflections on Mother’s Day Eve

Well…the wife is out of town on business. We had flowers and stuff sent to her hotel room. The kids aren’t too happy about their mother being out of town on mother’s day. What to do? I was thinking about going to a restaurant with the kids and putting her on speaker phone. We’ll see how that plays out. She’ll be back next week. We’ll do something then.

I am at a lost about Mother’s Day to be honest with you. Actually all of the holidays where American’s take time to honor mothers, fathers, grandparents, pastors, etc.. I would think giving honor to mothers would be something that should be done more than once a year. I am sure that many people do take time out to honor mothers more than once a year. So what is special about Mother’s Day? seriously. I will be “celebrating” it, but I am hardpressed this year. 1. My wife isn’t here. 2. My mother lives in a different state.

The whole affair just seems so impersonal to me. I feel like I’m missing a sale at Walmart for not getting jazzed about this whole deal.

But I purposely took the time to reflect on the times in which my Mother’s presence was vital. During the 80s growing up in Birmingham, Alabama.

In the 80s it was beginning to get tough growing up in my hood. Gangs were on the rise (bloods and crips were becoming all the rage). One of my childhood friends was shot down dead (about three houses down from me). His name was Hassan Jones (14 ). We lived by the Airport near Zion City. If anyone is familiar with Birmingham you know this is a rough part of town. I remember those years. Almost all of my friends (with the exception of a few) are either dead, in jail, or doing dirt on the streets.

My home was far from a complete haven from the violence and drugs that overwhelmed the community. My father was addicted to crack cocaine (now he is clean). It was a hold over from a heroine addiction he got while serving in the military over in Vietnam. There was domestic violence quite often in my home. I saw some pretty ravenous stuff. I remember at the ripe age of 14 wanting to kill my father in his sleep. There were alot of homes like mine where I came from. But there was something redemptive about my mother’s presence. That’s why I can completely empathize when young black men attain some kind of celebrity they almost always give primary praise to their mothers. I can understand that. If I were to achieve some sort of platform I would most definitely give praise to my mom.

But my mother’s presence was redemptive. See…she was a different kind of woman then alot of the other grown women I would encounter in my neighborhood. In my neighborhood standard fare was the women flocking to church on Sunday, working their 9-5s, getting ready for the weekend, partying, family gossip, grown folks card night, going to the horse or dog track, going to a Frankie Beverly concert…or some other old school joint. There is more to this. I don’t want to create a caricature of an entire community of people. My mom did participate in some of these things…but she would do weird stuff like play monopoloy with me and my brother on Friday night and discussing Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”! It wouldn’t be until later that I would appreciate such things. We’d talk about history, science, philosophy, religion. She introduced me to jazz, blues, classic r/b. She also made sure that I had a vital relationship with my grandparents who would also play a significant role in my upbringing.

And there is more to this story. I actually can’t write anymore about this. The images are too strong. But I love my mother. Because of her life I am here…with kids…with a beautiful wife…with my sanity (me thinks).

Thanks mom.


4 thoughts on “Reflections on Mother’s Day Eve

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  1. Anthony, thanks for sharing some of your history and for honoring your mother. We see all throughout culture that women are the strength, the glue, of the family. They do most of the giving, the genuine dying to self. We men go out to conquer stuff–be macho. They do the yeoman’s work. I have thought for several years now that most mothers, by virtue of having gone through the death of birth to bring life, know more about what it means to be a woman–know their true strength–than we men know about being men.

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