Don’t Judge My Mom

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. — Paul The Apostle


 

My mom Gloria Mae - Photographer:  Unknown
My mom Gloria Mae – Photographer: Unknown

When I was a child between the ages of four and eleven I was very envious of my cousins.  To me they had the cookie cutter mom and the all American home life.

Their mom stayed home.  And since my aunt didn’t work she was able to shower her children with love and guidance.  On the other hand, my mom, her sister, was a working woman.  My mom worked two jobs and she had little to no time for her children.  Therefore, me and my siblings were forsaken the love, understanding, and guidance that came from healthy parenting.

My aunt was a woman that took her role as a mom seriously.  Each of her children had swimming lessons one day and was taken to the library the next day.  She was a mom that made sure dinner was cooked everyday.  She was a mom that afforded her children the luxury to explore the heights of their imaginations.  She was the kind of mom that all children wish they had but seldom got or get.  And even though she was my aunt and a supermom I being her niece was living in parental poverty.

Parental poverty is a doorway that starves the mind from reaching its full life’s potential.  Most times parental poverty emotionally starves children of healthy emotions, as it slowly sends the souls of children into hardship.   It cripples children from learning and hampers childhood dreams.  It cast shadows over the lives of children and makes them question their existence.

And, sadly, my poor mom never realized the full meaning of being a parent.  She never really understood her role as a mom or a single mother.  Therefore, she never figured out she was for a temporary moment the captain of her children’s lives.  In her efforts to provide for her young she failed to see her children were starving for character building nourishment only a parent could give.  And as I grew so did my expectations concerning how my mom should parent me.

I hated my mom for not parenting like her sister.  I so desperately wanted to learn how to swim.  But my mom’s obligation to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table kept her from fulfilling my wishes.  And each time one of my child desires went unmet I began to nurture the love hate emotions I cultivated towards my mom.

I was never easy to get along with.  I hated my parents and with the exception of my aunt Pearl and her children I hated the rest of my mom’s family.   And most of all I hated being black, therefore, I hated my life.  And because my mom lacked experience as a nurturer the demands to shelter and feed became a lethal combination.

My mom had no idea she was killing my spirit when she told others I was retarded.  And hearing her unkind words cut deeply.  But my will to survive was stronger than the words she expressed to others.  My will to succeed was predestined and I knew that!

So when I was a child I made clear to self I was going to be someone special.  I was going to give to myself what my mom never gave to me, and rebuild what her mean-spirited words had torn down.  I was going to show my mom who was retarded!

My mom and me
My mom and me

My long awaited day of exoneration never came the way I thought.  My mom has grown old and is now sickly.  I became a parent that also made mistakes.  And as my mom’s health continues to decline the thoughts of revenge are replaced with compassion.  I no longer seek vindication nor does the thought of it appease my wounded soul.  By realizing my mom did the best she could with the understanding she had my broken heart was healed.  And in acknowledging her deficiency as my mom her overdrawn parental account is paid in full.

 

Vocabulary Mondays: Agapae

Photo taken from:  http://ubdavid.org/advanced/practical/practical-christian_21.html
Photo taken from: http://ubdavid.org/advanced/practical/practical-christian_21.html

It has been years since I have used the word agapae.  But I wanted to use it in a short message to a dear friend.  Since I knew I had forgotten how to spell the word I decided to Google it.  I typed the following within the Google search bar:  agodbae, agodba, agotbae and etc.  Yet, nothing I spelled gave me the correct spelling for the word I so dearly wanted to use.  I was becoming frustrated.  I even thought maybe I had learned a word that did not exist.

Let’s just say it took me forever to find the correct spelling of agape, but, nevertheless, I found it!  And I used it!  Hip hip hooray!

Word:  agapae

Part of Speech:  noun, plural

Meanings:

1.  the love of God or Christ for humankind.

2.  the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.

3.  unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.

4.  love feast (  defs 1, 2 ).

Origin and History:

agape
c.1600, from Gk. agapan “greet with affection, love” (used by early Christians for their “love feast” held in connection with the Lord’s Supper), from agapan “to love,” of unknown origin. In modern use, often in simpler sense of “Christian love” (1856, frequently opposed to eros as “carnal or sensual.

 

When Love Transcend Social Boundaries

Artist:  Unknown
Artist: Unknown

Last Sunday I was pressed to write a prayer for my blog  “The Prayers of Black Women.”  I wasn’t sure of my spiritual request to God; but, I felt my prayer should have been about Black women.

[Please don’t stop reading.  God is working in my life on my misplaced and misguided thoughts, and you will read the transformation soon.]

Any-who-how, I was proud of my “I’m Black and I’m Proud” prayer.  Yet, I desired another persons opinion [preferably a black person].  So, I asked my son to come and proofread the prayer I had written.

Again, please don’t stop reading.  God is working in my life on my misplaced and misguided thoughts about what it truly means to be a Black woman; and believe me when I write, my transformation is coming soon.  Sooner than I expect!

Insight:

For the past couple of days my soul has been unease about the image I’m projecting as a woman of color.

In my personal life I have an array of friends from all walks of life.

With great remorse, I have notice when I write I come across as a person of color that do not like people from other race groups.  The image I’m projecting is totally the opposite of my character.  Totally!  And if you keep reading you will soon see God is getting ready to transform the way I have been thinking and writing lately.

Dialogue between me and my son:

Me:  Can you please proofread my prayer?

My Son:  Hum.  Hum.  Okay.  (My son does not like to get involved in my writing projects.  So I was shocked when he said he would help me.)

Me:  So what do you think?

My Son:  If I came across your blog I would not read it.

Me:  Why?  [I was shocked at his bluntness.]

My Son:  Because it doesn’t have anything that could help me.

Me:  Of course not!  It’s a blog for Black women!

My Son:  Isn’t this about prayer?

Me:  Yes.  But it is a prayer for Black women.

My Son:  Shouldn’t prayer be for everyone?

Me:  [Speechless.]

Lesson Learned:

As a former seminar student I recently realized several pitfalls of racism.

In 1 Corinthians 15:31, Paul writes, “For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.”

Though I am on a spiritual sabbatical, I am an ambassador for Christ; therefore, my color, race, culture, and personal beliefs outside of Christianity should die daily.  But as it was, after finding myself upset with narrow-minded people I began a blog for Black women despite the need to encourage everyone.

Please understand, I am not a racist, my heart grieves for my race.  With such sorrow I find myself disappointed with a group of people who keep allowing themselves to fall prey to the cruelties of society.  My mind can’t grasp why these beautiful men and women continue to be mentally and emotionally castrated.   It is painful to belong to a race and sit idle as it implode.  Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish for the lack of knowledge.

And because I don’t want my people to perish, sadly, my gender and my race became my cause to write.  When in my case it should have been man’s inhumanity to man who made me want to make a difference by putting into action “the pen is mightier than the sword.”  Because at the end of the day when all has been said and done we are still humans in need of love despite, race, color, culture, personal beliefs, personal choices, professional choices, religious choices, age and gender.

Until humankind understand that life without love and acceptance is all for not.  We will continue to overlook the most important thing to remember about living:  and that is when love transcend social boundaries it makes people do the right thing.  In 1 Corinthians 13:2-7 Paul writes the below about love:

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.