by Shakeda Williams
It was the 25th of May 1992 when my mother said she had received a blessing, a blessing that no value could be named. But to me she didn’t receive the blessing. I believe I received the blessing in this case. I say this because my mother is an amazing woman, a gentle and altruistic lady who opens up both her heart and home to any and every one.
I remembered one time I told my mother my best friend was living with his grandmother and siblings and that they were struggling and I felt bad. So my mum asked me what I was planning to do about it, and I told her well mum there isn’t much that I could do other than take lunch for him at school. So she told me well after school invite him over for the weekend, so I went to school and I invited my friend over. That weekend I remembered clearly like it was yesterday, my mother sat us down in the front house and said to him “I have heard about your situation and I am willing to open my home to you if it is okay with your family”. I could not believe what she had proposed to him. My mother did not only shock me, but also every teacher at the school we were attending at the time. It was from that day I knew that my mother was a blessing.
I strongly believe that a woman so kind, so caring, so sweet can only be considered a woman of excellence; a woman I aspire to be. She is a wise person who always knows how to advise not just me, but all young people that she may come in contact with. However it was not always rosy on my end. My mother amongst all these things is a Christian woman and not just any Christian but a black Christian woman who believed in one particular phrase in the good book and that was “spare the rod spoil the child”, and believe me I was not a spoiled child.
I recall one incident I was rude to her in church and she didn’t reply so I figured that everything was ok she didn’t mind me talking back to her at that time. I was wrong because when I got home and I took off my church shoes my mother came up behind me and took up those same shoes that I just took off and began to pelt some licks in me and as fast as I run she was up behind me I could not believe that my mother was so fast; Usain Bolt doesn’t have a thing on my mother. I can laugh about it now but at that time I wondered if she loved me. But as usually after the licks and I ask her that question she would often say, ‘Yes I love you, but with this kind of love you wouldn’t forget’.
My mother was also my rock. When everyone gave up on me she was still always there. Every bad report I brought home, which was every term, she would stand by the kitchen window and cry and instead of giving me those licks she would say, “Shakeda, I know you could do better if you just try”. When I did the 11-Plus exam she said to me, ‘Your best is good enough’. When the results came back and I had passed for the St. James Secondary School she told me congratulations and I said, ‘Why are you saying that?’ Everyone else wanted their children to go to what our society would consider the top schools; but my mommy looked at me and said, ‘It is not what school you go to, it is what you do when you get there’. These words guided me throughout my life and it was from that day on that I decided I am going was on a mission, one that would show that I can be whatever I put my mind to and that my mother was right, I could do better – and that I did. She was there for me in all my successes and failures in life and she continues to be there for me every day.
I don’t mean to sound as though I am boosting, but at this point I can only tell the truth about this magnificent individual. It is at this time that all women in our society and by women I mean both young and mature ought to take a leaf from this tree of gold and join me as we aspire for excellence, as we aspire to be like all good mothers. She is not just a mother to me but also my friend, my role model and I am her number one fan. I love my mommy.