I’ll Always Love My Mama

In this world of gritty realities, where life can be as cruel as it is beautiful, there is one constant that remains unshakable – the love of a mother. She is the foundation upon which we build our lives, the rock that withstands the storms of adversity.

When I was growing up, my mother didn’t believe in depression, giving up, or getting down on yourself and whenever she sensed me feeling that way, she’d pull me aside and say, “Baby, don’t you let the weight of this world break you. You are stronger than you know.” Most times, it was all I needed to hear in order to push myself forward.

My story begins in North Omaha, a place where struggle was a daily companion. My mother, just a young girl of 14, brought me into this world. My father, a heroin addict at the time, left behind a legacy of pain and violence. Most of my memories of him are tainted by images of him beating my mom, engaging in fist fights with my Paw Paw, and being carted away by the police. But amidst the chaos, my mother’s strength shone through.

By the time she turned nineteen, she had three children – me, my brother, and my sister. We didn’t have much, but we had each other, and my mom always made sure we acknowledged that. Our grandparents did their best to support her, but the burden was heavy. Yet, despite the hardships, we were a tight-knit family. We had relatives scattered across the city, and it seemed like every week, riding around with my Paw Paw, we’d stumble upon a cousin from some distant branch of our family tree. That was Omaha back then – a place where familial bonds ran deep.

My mom was tough, hardened by growing up in a house full of boys. She and our cousin JoAnne were the only two girls, and my mom had a reputation for standing her ground against boys. I never knew exactly what happened to her as a child; she guarded those memories fiercely. But whatever it was, it made her resilient, overprotective, and sometimes, angry when she drank.

Still, I love my mama.

She worked night jobs, sacrificing her own sleep to give us a chance at a better education. She married a man she didn’t love, hoping it would provide us with a positive male role model and stability, even though it didn’t turn out that way. She made mistakes; she was young and fell prey to the mistakes that young girls often make. But through it all, she remained my mom – a beautiful Black queen who could spin tales that transported you to another time and place, and play Spades like no one’s business. She introduced me to the music of Stevie Wonder, ensuring I knew his entire catalog by the time I was seven years old. She is a woman who is truly unique and original.

Quick-tempered, yet just as quick to love, she embraced her Black and Cherokee heritage with pride. But she also sent me across town, in 1980s Omaha, to attend all-white schools because she knew they offered me a better future. And despite losing a friend in a drowning incident at an all-white pool party, she always taught me and my siblings to treat everyone equally, to understand that race doesn’t define a person, and that goodness exists in everyone.

I love my mom, and if you’re fortunate enough to have your mother or someone who fills that role in your life, hold her tightly. Appreciate her for all she has done, learn from her experiences, and give her the respect she has undoubtedly earned. For in her love, her sacrifices, and her unwavering belief in our potential, we find the strength to rise above the challenges that life throws our way.

Mothers are not just individuals who bring life into the world; they are the foundation of our society, the fabric that holds it together. They are the ones who shape us into the people we become, instilling in us values, resilience, and compassion. They are the ones who sacrifice their own dreams and desires to ensure a better future for their children.
My mama, like so many other mothers out there, faced adversity head-on and never wavered in her determination to provide for our family. She may not have had much, but her love and dedication were immeasurable. She worked tirelessly, juggling multiple jobs, just to give us a chance at a better education. She knew that education was the key that would unlock doors of opportunity for us.

But it wasn’t just about providing material things. My mama taught us about the importance of family and community. She showed us that no matter how tough things got, we always had each other. Our home was filled with laughter, stories, and the aroma of her delicious cooking. Our relatives would gather, and the house would be filled with love and warmth.

My mama’s strength and resilience were not just for herself and our family; they were for the entire community. She was a pillar of support, always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. Whether it was through her words of wisdom, her comforting presence, or her unwavering belief in people’s potential, she made a difference in the lives of many.

Mothers like mine are the unsung heroes of our society. They may not receive the recognition they deserve, but their impact is immeasurable. They are the ones who shape future leaders, innovators, and changemakers. They are the ones who teach us the value of kindness, empathy, and resilience.

So, as we celebrate the love of our mothers, let us also recognize the immense role they play in our society. Let us honor their sacrifices, their strength, and their unwavering love. And let us strive to carry on their legacy, to be the kind of individuals who make a positive difference in the lives of others, just as our mothers have done for us.
I’ll always love my mama, and I will forever be grateful for the impact she has had on my life.